Sweet Tennessee!

Sweet Tennessee!

December 3, 2011

The Sensual Pleasures of the Christmas Season

Happy Sigh.  Well, it's my favorite time of year once again.  The joy filled, wonderful few weeks between the Thanksgiving Holiday and the Birth of a brand New Year!  And my favorite part of my favorite time of the year.. Christmas!  :)  This post by myself will be full of rhapsodizing about this glorious, and sensuous, time of year.  By sensuous, I do NOT mean sexual.  I realize there are some who confuse those two words.  I mean sensuous/sensual to mean a magnificent feast for all the senses!  The sounds.. the tastes, the sights.. the scents.. and the touch of things in celebration of Christmas.  Gosh.  Where to start.  I could go on and on and on....  But i won't.  For the sake of all your individual 'sanities'; i'll keep this as short as possible.  I think.. maybe.  :)

I believe i'll begin with the sounds of the season that i love!  And the first of those is the music.  The beautiful songs and the singing of those Christmas carols.  I love them all.  From the traditional Christian ones.. like O Holy Night and Hark the Herald Angels Sing.. to fun ones like Jingle Bells and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.. to the Bing Crosby/Burl Ives classics.. like Winter Wonderland and White Christmas!  I love them all, and can feel my heart swell when i listen.  Every time.  And my very favorite carol which i adore with all my Christmas loving heart.. is 'The Holly and The Ivy.'  It's an old, traditional English carol with Christian and Pagan influences. It speaks of the birth of the Savior, and also mentions holly and ivy.  Symbols of pagan fertility.  I think i've grown to love that song even more since we moved to Oregon.  A very green place filled with ivy, and at certain times, with holly.  And i think my favorite rendition of my favorite song is done by the King's Choir of Cambridge.  My heart lifts when i listen to that joyful version.  The music, and the sounds of those wonderful, talented raised voices!  And the setting.  Well, the setting just rings with festive joy.  Then.. of course.. there is the sound of bells!  Church bells.. the Carol of the Bells played in church.. and sleigh bells.  All happy, magnificent sounds.  Sounds that make me feel warmth even in December.  And hope.  The feeling of hope is one of the most important things about this season of giving.

Next.. Well next i can't help but think of all the wonderful scents of this season.  The scent of evergreen.  Of sweet treats baked in the oven.  Cinnamon.. cardamom.. pungent spices that smell of true happiness.  Peppermint.  Hand rolled candy canes.  Might try that this year.  Never have made my own.  To give as gifts to neighbors and friends.  :)  And maybe to sample one or two myself of course.  You know, to make sure they come out well enough to give away!  The smell of a delicious pie baking in the oven.  A smell that reminds me of my Maine childhood.  Cinnamon-ey, nutmeggy apple pie.  The salty scent of nutty TV Scrabble.  Popcorn and cranberries anyone?  Remind you of stringing them on the classroom Christmas tree when we were young school kids?  :D  Anyway.  You get the idea.  I said i'd attempt to make this brief so.. moving on to...

The tastes!  Oh.. the yummy tastes of Christmas!  Which, well, you know, are about foods.  Many of the same mentioned above.  But i left out a few up there to talk about down here.  Strudel.  I've never made my own, but LOVE how it smells in the oven or just out of the oven!  And the flavor.  Magnificent.  Think i will make my own this year.  Always good to try something new.  I've read that authentic strudel dough needs to be stretched!  And i could likely use some help.  Hey baby.. wanna help me stretch my strudel when you get home from work?  :)  Spiced warm cider.  Yummy.  Plum pudding.  More yummy.  Baked brie with jam?  Super duper yummy.  Creamy, sweet, pastry-like.  Just all around Merry Christmas-y!  Then of course.. there is always a favorite Christmas beer, wine, or ale to be savored.  Enjoyed with a spouse, friends, or by oneself in relaxation during this fun, but chaotic season.  Yep.  Could go on about all the deliciousness forever, but...

There are many gorgeous sights to mention.  Beautiful Christmas trees.  Whether you choose a live tree, a cut tree or an artificial tree.  All beautiful and up to your individual liking.  Sparkly gold, silver, blue, green, red ornaments.  The decked halls.  Living rooms.  The outside festive lights on peoples' homes. White lights.  Multi-colored lights.  Blinking lights.  Blue lights.  Which have grown on me in recent years!  So much glowing beauty.  Love to wear red and green this time of year.  (Though not in the form of a tacky Christmas sweater.)  And i love to do my nails in red.. especially the sparky, pretty kind of polish.  Brings out the girly girl in me that's still very much present.  There's the beautifully set Christmas table.  Sigh.  I even.. though i'm not a fan of shopping malls 'normally'.. love a decked out department store this time of year.  Love to ooo and ah at the pretty decorations.  Love the sight of a candy cane garnish on a holiday martini glass.  Containing a delectable martini, of course.  And S and myself go for many 'light peeping' drives this season just as we go for 'leaf peeping' drives in the autumn!  Soooo much to see.  I won't get started on all the Christmas specials i love to watch on the TV machine!  And... last, but certainly not least in my Christmas book...

Are the touches and feelings of this important holiday.  Christmas is all about loving.  Hoping.  Giving.  Joy.  And there are many ways to express this.  Of course there's gift giving.  Giving truly is much more fun than receiving.  I mean it.  :)  There's nothing like seeing a child's face light up at the gift that he/she just loves.  Brings so much feeling of joy to my heart, and touches me in a deep way.  Happy sigh.  Then, there's one of my favorite Christmas touches. Mistletoe.  Just think how much touching.. hugging.. and.. kissing a sprig of mistletoe incites!  Woohoo!  A parasite my eye!  lol  Yes.. seeing people happy and loving each other touches me deeply.  That's what Christmas is all about, baby.  Love, love, and more LOVE.  Touching each other in myriad ways and expressing our love and hope in the human race.  Yep.  Probably sound quite sappy don't i?  Well. :D.. my feeling about that is that i don't give a rat's behind.  Sappy is good sometimes.  So there.

Well, as usual, have gone on LONG enough.  So that's all for today.. Saturday, the Third of December, Two Thousand Eleven.  M... for...  Magnificent Song and Celebration at Christmas!

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