That Magical Feeling
Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. I’d brought the radio into the family room so I could listen while I put the lights on the Christmas tree, which I’d picked up earlier that day, a Black Hills spruce this time around, and it’s a beauty. Problem was, I purchased the tree and secured it to the top of my minivan before running a number of errands and attending a luncheon with a few friends, where we partook of a variety of delicious appetizers and some Christmas bread and, yes, one glass of wine.
I’m blaming the wine, and the flurry of things on a given day this month, for what happened next. I drove home, singing away to Burl Ives’ “Frosty the Snowman” and stopped for the mail, and opened the garage with my handy remote, and drove on in. Forgetting there was a tree tied to the top of the van. It wasn’t so much an explosion as it was a loud crack, or pop. And there I was, sitting in my van in the garage, not wanting to look. So I didn’t. I sat there a bit, and listened to Andy Williams’ “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” in its entirety before I turned off the engine, got out of the car, and looked.
Surprisingly, damage was minimal. The two little wheels had popped out of their tracks on the garage door, and there was a small dent directly in the middle of the bottom of the door. Nothing a bit of finagling, a screwdriver, and a hammer couldn’t fix in short order. Thank goodness Mr. S was out buying cheese and sausage for this year’s gift baskets. He hasn’t noticed, and I haven’t felt moved to mention it to him. One of those things that can simply fade into memory. Mine. And no one else’s.
The tree was undamaged, far as I could tell. I clipped the twine and hauled it in and had it up and watered and the needles swept up before Mr. S pulled in. He was whistling, which is a good thing, and he hollered, “Santa’s home!” which is funny, but may not be a week from now because he’s said it every time he’s walked in the door since Thanksgiving. Anyway, he brought Chinese take-out with him, and we sat on the floor by the tree and ate noodles with chopsticks, and talked about Christmas when we were young, and what kind of lights were on our childhood Christmas trees. His were those big old-fashioned bulbs that are multi-colored. Same as mine. The lights I hung later are smaller lights, but they’re multi-colored, and they look, all lit up, as beautiful as they did when I was a child. A time when, it seemed, there was magic in the air.
Not everything changes when a person grows up. I still do silly things without thinking, I love Christmas music and homemade fudge and glitter, and I tend to use too much tape when wrapping gifts. And I still feel it this time of year. That magical feeling. Sure do.
Here’s a family favorite you can make anytime, but it’s especially good at a party, or as a special treat on the first day of Christmas vacation.
Cream Cheese Pickle Roll-ups
1 jar dill pickles (not little ones)
1 8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1½ lb sliced honey-roasted ham
Spread thin layer of cream cheese on slice of meat. Cut pickles into quarters. (Pre-cut spears will work, too.) Wrap pickle quarter with cheese covered meat slice. Keep spreading the cheese on ham slices and wrapping the pickle spears up in them. Place in a plastic container or on a serving platter and chill for at least 1 hour, then slice rolls into wheels and stick toothpicks in them for serving. You’ll have a pickle slice wrapped in cream cheese and ham. Yum.