From The Way Back Machine: Need a little Christmas

I’m enjoying my Christmas music but I’m not saying if I’m jumping around the living room with a candle ring on my head.
Thanks to the miracle of middle 20th Century medicine, I woke up this morning feeling like a human and this song immediately came to mind as I contemplated the things I want to accomplish before we celebrate our Christmas on the 27th. Be warned, you should probably just read the blog and not look at the video. Nothing happens in the video, except blinking lights which may or may not induce seizure in those with a low epileptic threshold.

But I had to include it for today’s little story because it is my second favorite Christmas song. It was one of our many Christmas albums but not the ones we bought at the Firestone when we lived in Conroe, Texas. Isn’t that silly? A tire company putting out albums of Christmas songs and carols by contemporary artists. “Contemporary” meaning singers like Robert Goulet, Steve and Edie, Andy Williams and his murderess wife Claudine Longet, and always Johnny Mathis. Johnny Mathis was my secret love with I was ten. I discovered in my early twenties that my mother’s decade earlier proclamation–after my true love confession–I could never marry Johnny was not driven by racism but because he was gay. For ten years, I thought it was the race thing and I harbored a secret shame my mother was a racist. So what’s the bigger tragedy here that I somehow missed the fact Johnny Mathis was a big old queen? (the girl sweater he wore on his Christmas album should have given it away) Or I thought my mother was a racist?



Anyhow, I love this song and I remember when I was given permission to gently play albums on the stereo how careful I had to be to not bounce the needle or I would hear a big “SCREEECHHH” through the speakers followed by a shouted admonishment from somewhere else in the house. This was one of the songs I liked to play this song over and over again and dance to it.

Have I mentioned my mother would turn our home into a Winter Wonderland and every surface in the house was covered with a Christmas themed decoration? It was like the Sears decorating department had moved into our house between November 28th-ish and January 2nd. Did I also mention I wasn’t supposed to touch anything? Do you know how hard that is for an eight year old who needs props for her musical dance numbers?

Anyhow, I would put the Firestone Family Christmas album on and bounce the needle from song to song while dancing around the house. “Winter Wonderland” was a Follies type number, usually with a table wreath balanced precariously on my head. “Let It Snow” was an ice stating performance in the “marble” foyer. “Do You Hear What I Hear” was an interpretive ballet that would have either delighted Isadora Duncan or horrified her depending on how much opium she had ingested. But “We Need A Little Christmas” was a boisterous number that featured me flying around the house like an ADHD kid who cheeked her meds and found plowed through the fudge stash. In between the flying around, pulling together Christmas, I would act out the words complete with finger wagging as an effort to admonish my invisible audience to get their Christmas on that very minute and drag show worthy lip syncing when the chirpy singer says: “it hasn’t snowed a flake!”

No wonder my mother had to lay down for a nap every afternoon.

This picture features each of the albums and the red one at the bottom was my favorite except for Barbra Streisand. Yuck. But don’t try to buy them because I did! Thanks ebay seller for the picture!

One thought on “From The Way Back Machine: Need a little Christmas

  1. Aw, my sister and I were just talking about these albums! Our dad was a tire dealer, and we had the record on the picture, and five or six others. I’ve been remembering them as a Goodyear promotion, but he carried both brands.

    We would put a short stack on the stereo at a time. I had favorite sides. The album in the picture was one of the best! JM, of course, but Mahalia Jackson, and Steve & Eydie!

    Thanks for the memory.

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