Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Memories

12-15-09 Christmas Memories

As long as we were talking Christmas yesterday…

When I was very young, I found the Xmas / gift thing a bit confusing. Where were the gifts coming from? Was someone really going to try to come down our chimney? What is we had a fire going in the fireplace? Etc.

I must’ve figured it out by 1970 or so. I remember receiving the George HarrisonAll Things Must Pass” triple LP set as an Xmas gift. Had I discussed it with my Dad? Or did my Mom ask my brother? Who decided that I should get that as an Xmas gift? Needless to say, it was an expensive LP boxed set, so I was pleased to receive it. I also seem to recall getting another George Harrison project as an Xmas gift, at a later date: the “Concert for Bangla Desh” 3LP boxed set. So, was Mr. Harrison the “boxed set at Xmas” former Beatle?

In the early 70’s, it was always presents under the tree – never a gift certificate in an envelope! When did I stop having Christmases with my family? 1976 or so? What did I do on Christmas then? Uh, Tower Records in Hollywood would’ve been open! Actually, Christmas at Tower Records ended up being a place we went a lot, over the years. In later years, it always meant that all Christmas CD’s would be something like 50% off!

I once had a Christmas in Tokyo. It was a cold winter day, probably a Thursday. To Tokyo, it was a regular business day. There were some Christmas decorations up around town, but it really didn’t ‘feel’ like Christmas. I seem to recall a salty bowl of ramen near the Ikebukuro train station. “And so this is Christmas…?”

I have also had a number of Christmases in New Zealand – summer barbecues, lots of outdoor (summer) eating, drinking. I seem to recall that the liquor stores were all going to close on December 24th, and not open until January 2nd. Big ol’ lines at Super Liquor Man!

For those who like things frosty, I have had a few Christmases in Amsterdam. No, the canals never froze over – I wish they had! I remember some nice Christmas dinners in Holland; lots of cookies etc. An ice skating rink near the Leidseplein. Indonesian food! Frites Speciaal! Good friends!

This year, I will have a Christmas in Singapore. Our plans include a late afternoon “High Tea” at Raffles Hotel. Yes, I already have our reservation. Should be festive. Not so sure I will find any Indian or Chinese Christmas CD’s in either Singapore or Kuala Lumpur. But finding Indonesian food both places shouldn’t be a problem. Probably no ice skating rinks there, however. I will advise.

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