Having Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

Many people I know have little things they do each year to mark the Christmas season.

Around this time every year my Mum makes a Scottish sweet called tablet. It is kind of like a fudge but is much, much sweeter. In fact, it is so sweet that when you eat it your fillings begin to pulsate in your teeth and you feel this rush of warmth to your head. It is the biggest sugar rush I have ever experienced.

My Mum feels that Christmas is not Christmas without the agonising rush of tablet, raping and pillaging your arteries as it enters your bloodstream. And she is right.

My friend Jules makes mulled wine despite everyone’s protestations because her recipe calls for 99% wine and only 1% mulling. I feel flammable for about a week after drinking it. But Jules read about mulled wine in a book when she was a girl – the title of which has slipped into the mists of legend – and she feels Christmas is not Christmas without mulled wine. Even in 40 degree C heat. And she is right.

Another friend, Mel, has to buy a coffee and spend an hour or so looking at the window displays in David Jones. (David Jones is the much less grand equivalent of Macy’s or Harrods but their Christmas window displays are excellent). She has to stand there with all the kids and tourists getting jostled and elbowed so that she actually spills her coffee on the brand new shoes she has treated herself to for Christmas, but she feels Christmas is not Christmas without an hour spent looking at the David Jones windows. And she is right.

I like to sit by the Christmas tree in the dining room when everyone has gone to bed and just watch the lights flash and look at all the ornaments. I can see the lights reflected in the French doors that lead out to the garden, arcing in myriad colours like headlights on an expressway at night.

Sometimes when I am sitting with the Christmas tree I listen to Judy Garland singing Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas. I love Judy Garland so much that I have considered the possibility that I have a gay man trapped somewhere inside my body. Or maybe even a drag queen. No one, but no one, sings Little Christmas like Judy.

It is nice to sit in the soft glow and ponder the winding down of another year. To think about what Christmas really means. The ghosts of several Christmases past sit with me. I can feel them. We sit like old men with blankets on our knees, dozing lightly.

That moment, that little Christmas moment is one I indulge in every year. I couldn’t do without it.

It feeds my spirit.

Christmas just isn’t Christmas without the coloured lights casting neon lines on the floor. And sitting in the silence watching them.

26 thoughts on “Having Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

  1. I think I must have a gay man trapped in my body too! Judy Garland is the best!

    I just wanted to drop by and thank you for all of your kind words of support during our crisis. Taking the time to check on us really helped keep us sane and I can’t tell you how much we appreciate it.

    Happy Holidays to you and yours.



  2. “I love Judy Garland so much that I have considered the possibility that I have a gay man trapped somewhere inside my body.” — best line ever. I may have to steal it. hahahaha…

    We all do silly things a Chritmas… I suppose it’s part of the magic of the season.


  3. I do that too when everyone else has gone off to bed only I do it in silence and just let myself be mesmerized by the twinkling lights. Good, good stuff.


  4. I’ve never made tablet – had to check the recipe out though as I love the stuff. Bet you have trouble finding the irn bru to wash it down with though.


  5. I never thought of that – that we all have our little “things” that make Christmas well, Christmas. For me, it is sipping hot coco (spiked with Peppermint Schnapps) after we’ve spent the day doing the tree up and sitting in the glow of all the lights…


  6. ATTILA:
    I am so glad your son is getting better. I was really pleased to offer my support. It must be such a relief for you. I really appreciate you stopping by!

    Those little things make the magic happen for me. Christmas wouldn’t be the same without them!

    It’s incredibly peaceful, isn’t it? I just love doing it!

    Definitely. I can’t wait to read your post. I know it’ll be right up my street πŸ˜€

    It is delicious. Sweet to the max but delicious. You can get Irn Bru here, believe it or not. A few of the specialist delis in town sell it. I usually get a few bottles in for Christmas.

    Now that sounds good. I am actually a bit of a fan of schnapps. Cocoa and schnapps sounds like the perfect combo. Yum!

    I know. It really is something special!

    I’ll ‘ave a ‘alf!


  7. I agree about the Christmas tree lights. I also love the relaxing sound of cricket on the radio or tv, the cicadas chirping in the semi-dark, and children laughing as they run around outside before dinner. I keep hearing about this tablet stuff – my friend in Brisbane makes it for everyone.


  8. “No one, but no one, sings Little Christmas like Judy.”

    You got THAT right!

    I loved reading all of the ways you and your family/friends get into the holiday spirit. My son and I have an annual tradition that we will do this following weekend!


  9. Lovely tree Sel with lots of memories I suspect. It’s not Christmas to me unless I watch the Carols by Candlelight on Christmas Eve. The whole family sits down together and we all sing along.

    We also go around the streets every year to look at everyone’s Christmas lights. Some people must spend a fortune for the delight of others and isn’t the gift of giving what Christmas should be about?


  10. yes I do some weird things at Christmas too – it is the only time I drink Sherry or make a Snowball but I have to do both.

    And I love to go for walks in the evening and peer at people’s windows and look in on their Christmas scenes. Usually I walk past oblivious to other houses – but I have to see at Christmas.

    We eat Stollen at Christmas – that is full of marzipan so pretty heavy too!


  11. You paint a warm and wonderful picture of yourself enjoying an intimate moment with yourself. I always loved to watch the patterns the lights made on the ceiling. This is a great time to find silence and reflect under the warmth of a blanket and the love of all.


  12. Hi Selma–I do so love your reminiscing about Merry Christmases, past, and present…
    Never heard of “tablet”, but my mouth is watering for the sweeter-than-fudge-treat you described…
    I’m about to head out in drenching rain, to go to a cupcake shop here in Franklin Tennessee(just south of Nashville–I’m visiting here for a few days).
    Keep up all the great writing…I keep you and yours in my prayers, always.
    Peace, woman. πŸ™‚

    btw, do u Facebook? if so, please DO Friend me, using “Lisa Nanette Allender”, or simply hit my blog, and click on the Auto-Link to Facebook.


  13. and you are right too….

    Great post. It made me think of the traditions my friends have that are unique to them.

    My own moment happens sitting in front of the fireplace quietly with the mantel lit up with little white lights, and tree sparkly in lights to the side of it. quiet. the past memories sweep in and fills the quiet……

    We always have an open house here on the 23rd and I love the feel of it when everyone has arrived…. the kids in their dress up outfits and the feeling of anticipation everyone exudes. the energy and good cheer chatter just makes me feel so joyful……. especially when the spontaneity of music and singing (and sometimes a few dancing) happens in my living room. And when they all head home and the house settles again in anticipation of Christmas Eve, I sit by my fireplace again…….. and give thanks in the quiet.

    I love this time of year.


    The cicadas chirping in the semi dark is such a great image. It reminds me of Christmas so much. I remember the first year I ever spent in Sydney, hearing those cicadas on Christmas morning and wondering what they were. It’s a sound that stays with you.

    Oh, I hope you write about your annual tradition. I’d love to hear about it!

    It’s mind-bendingly sweet but oh, so good!

    I like Carols By Candlelight too as well as looking at everyone’s lights. Some people really go all out, don’t they? A lady up the road has an enormous inflatable Santa on her front porch. I don’t know how she gets in the door!

    I love looking in the windows at the Christmas scenes too. It would be much nicer in England because you have snow and open fires and frost on the windows. I like Stollen too. It is stodgy but delicious!

    The patterns on the ceiling are great to watch. They are actually very soothing!

    I’m not on Facebook. I just don’t have the time. Maybe next year!

    What a beautiful picture you paint. That is the type of get-together I love. It captures the magic of the season perfectly.

    Oh, I love a good panto. That is one thing I really miss about the UK at Christmas. I am sure Judy had a hand in the music πŸ˜€


  15. Christmas isn’t quite right without pfeffer nuts!!! And Oh how I love to watch the tree lights without my glasses on – peaceful blurs of glowing color, giving me pause from my crazy December schedule.

    Beautiful post!


  16. Move over Sel, I want to gaze at the XMAS lights too! πŸ˜‰ What a wonderful, relaxing memory…we aren’t having a tree this year but I do fondly remember sitting in the dark, with just the tree lights on, dreaming…. Do you by chance remember those long icicle bulbs that had liquid in them? Probably banned now but what fun they were to watch, as a child.

    Hugs dear Sel and keep in touch, G


  17. GROOVY:
    I love nuts at Christmas too. Those honey roasted ones are to die for. Or the chocolate covered peanuts. Mhmmmmm…..

    I do remember them. I’d say they are banned now. They probably leaked something dangerous, but they were very cool lights. I could have watched them for hours!

    YAY. Can’t wait to read it!

    It is nice. Very soothing. Great to hear from you!


  18. Oh I know – I LOVE watching the Christmas lights on the tree. I’ve been having a hard time of it because I have had to wait to have a tree this year – luckily Redbeard is off to get one tomorrow – yay!!!-

    πŸ™‚ Enjoy your holiday evenings!


    Hope you have your tree by now and that you can enjoy your lights this evening. It is nice to think of you doing the same thing as me!


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