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Fresh Ears for Rudolph and Frosty

I’m elbow deep in brown sugar and butter, busily mixing up batches of dough for cookie baking with The Girls. Because I spent November in Southeast Asia and I’m not yet really caught up with the whole it’s-almost-Christmas thing, I have holiday music playing especially loud as I measure and stir, as if volume will translate into readiness. A girl can dream.

My chanteuse of choice is the incomparable Ella Fitzgerald. She’s rocking her Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas album and I’m kinda starting to feel it.

Towards the end of the album, Ella works her versions of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman. Now, any self-respecting fan of Christmas carols knows these are totally fabricated tunes, the by-products of gross commercialization run amok. And… I loved them as a kid. I vividly remember when their stop motion and cel animation movies came to television. Big thrill.

Holiday Mood
One of those years that was actually a white Christmas…Looks a bit like Yoda, don’t you think?

I loved them — and I was also a little embarrassed about them, as if I knew they were somehow something lesser in the greater Christmas panoply. But today, for whatever reason, I am listening with fresh ears and I’m hearing  celebrations of the differently-abled (Rudolph) and carpe diem (Frosty). I’m appreciating them anew.

Did I hear those messages as a kid? I honestly don’t know. But this afternoon I’m celebrating that otherness can save the day and heeding the call to “run and have some fun before I melt away.” 

Yup, definitely feeling the holiday spirit.  Happy Almost-Solstice, friends!

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