Dweezy reminded me of “Suzy Snowflake.” It was written by Sid Tepper in 1951, another of the group of songs that includes “Marshmallow World” and “White Christmas.”

Dweezy mentioned another of them, “The Christmas Waltz.” Here is a midi file of the tune. I like that song a lot, really. The lyrics are here.

Most of the popular Christmas songs (as distinct from carols) come from that group, beginning with “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” and “Winter Wonderland” in 1934. If you have been walking around cursing the continual Christmas muzak, then this is the stuff you’ve been cursing. The most recent Christmas song to hit the top 25 most-performed list is “Wonderful Christmastime” from 1979, and the ’60s gave us only “Little Saint Nick” by the Beach Boys (though there is that song about Snoopy which is quite popular in New Zealand). Apparently, there was something about the Great Depression and World War II that inspired people to write Christmas songs.

You probably have not been cursing “Suzy Snowflake,” though, because it hasn’t been recorded recently. Dweezy is lucky enough to have a vintage recording by Rosemary Clooney. The rest of us may know this from Barney tree 2006(shudder) or the kids’ nursery school holiday pageant, but to my knowledge, the Cheetah Girls haven’t yet gotten around to it.

 We got the tree decorated. I have always felt that the goal was to put an ornament on every single twig, but the boys assured me that it would make the tree “loud.”

We therefore stopped at this point. I may put on more, though, because it seems to me that the whole point of a Christmas tree is to be excessive. It is nice to know, of course, that my sons have such elegant sensibilities, but if you are going to do something as unreasonable as to bring a tree into your house and hang stuff all over it, then you might as well go all the way.

slide as ornament The soldered slide charms work very well as ornaments.

I kept half a dozen of them for my own tree, and have packed up some for various family members, but I may do more. I think that old sheet music and Christmas card images would make nice little tree ornament collages.

Thus far, my ornament slides have tended toward elegant simplicity, but I am rebelling against elegant simplicity. I will sing “Suzy Snowflake” and “Marshmallow World” while I work on them, to inspire a sense of cheerful holiday kitsch and cheesiness.

Here are some inspiringly kitschy commercial versions with 3-figure prices. More affordable ones here. These things make me feel good about the price of my soldering iron.

santa mantelWe also hung up the stockings. Our mantelpiece ends up looking like an altar to Santa Claus, but here again, why go just partway with such a silly custom?

It is not as though there were some decorous and sensible way to hang giant fake socks on your mantelpiece.

It is true that we have too many stockings for the current residents of the household. Neither daughter took her stocking with her when she grew up and moved out, and it didn’t seem right to leave them in the storage container. What I ought to do is get one for Son-in-law as well, fill them all up, and mail them to their owners.

We are hoping that #2 daughter will be here for Christmas, though, so perhaps we can keep hers for another year.

quilting in progress Once we had done the decorating and gotten a pot of beef stew on the stove, we settled down to watch the “Monk” marathon on TV, and I got on with the Christmas present table runner. This picture shows the shininess of the fabric.

This picture, I hope, shows the quilting pattern.in hoop


It was handy that  the motif fit in a hoop. I was able to sit comfortably with the guys while I worked.

They were not sitting comfortably. They were whipping each other with bead garlands, leaping over the couch onto one another, enticing the dogs to climb onto the furniture where they are not allowed, and eating up all the snickerdoodles which I baked for cookie boxes.

I pointed out that I would have no cookies for this year’s cookie boxes if the boys continued to eat them all.

“Who really deserves a cookie box?” said #2 son in a voice he must have learned from courtroom dramas.

I suggested that all the people we usually gave cookie boxes to deserved them. I made an impassioned plea for the postman, hairdresser, accompanist, teachers, co-workers and family members. #2 son was willing to concede that his grandparents deserved their cookies, but argued that they deserved fresh cookies. He pointed out that I get up early and could bake all the Christmas cookies in the week before Christmas if I set my mind to it.

jewels runner It is now time to make a decision about the quilting: whether it is finished or not. The circle around the rose motif is just the mark left from the hoop, and not part of the design. I will press it out.

I like the relative simplicity of it, and I know that the recipient prefers simplicity, but it might be nice to repeat the motif on either side, making a row of three roses. Or a line of quilting in a Celtic knot pattern along the center from one pieced end to the other might also be nice. I generally like a lot of close quilting, for the texture of it. In this case, since I am using contrasting thread, the quilting is more overt than usual. And, while I am currently rebelling against astere elegance, that will not last. On the other hand, I happen to know that the girl I’m giving this to bought a pair of Ugg boots and plans to get another.

I may go ahead and bind it and then see. Your opinions are solicited.