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11/18/2005 Entry: "My Sister's MI-5"

(Lisa) "Since I'm completely in the Christmas Spirit already this year, I thought I'd go "Five Senses of Christmas". I think you may have already done something like this in the past, so you don't have to do it again."

1. SIGHT: What things do you most look forward to seeing during the Christmas season?
Back before we had kids, Susan and I used to take long rides looking for the ultimate "house of lights"--the most garish, light strewn, kilowatt hogging display we could find. There's a good one right here in Rockland on Summer Street, I think. There's a great one in Camden down by Lady Millvelle. And on Rt. 17 there's a good one on the straight stretch just before you get to Washington, and another up by Rideout Construction in Somerville. I look forward to seeing them all gleaming every year.

2. SOUND: What is your favorite Christmas song/hymn/carol?
My favorite song is "The Christmas Carol," written by the Velvet Fog himself, Mel Torme. He often joked about how interesting it was that one of the best Christmas songs of all time was written by a Jewish guy in July! My favorite hymn would be "Oh Holy Night," I guess. Carols are really my favorite style. I'm quite a stickler for a real carol, though. To me, a carol is meant to be sung, is usually of English/German/French origin, and usually has a large section in a minor key. "Silent Night" is a hymn, not a carol. "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" is a Christmas song, but not a Christmas carol. "God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman"--now that's a carol! It's probably my favorite Christmas tune of all. But I also give high marks to "We Three Kings," "Coventry Carol" (ever read the words to that one? Heavy!), and "How Great or Joy."

3. TASTE: What do you most enjoy eating during the holiday season?
Chocolate cream pie with thick, homemade pudding. I love it when Mom overcooks the pudding on purpose, making it extra firm! Yum! And Uncle Ade's eggnog recipe. There is none finer. None. Stuff from the store? Bilge water! Uncle Ade's version is like drinking creamy clouds. Aunt Ginny has got the technique down--she don't be ticklin' or nothin'. Only that one night a year do I drink it. But boy will I be ready to put two or three glasses down!

4. SMELL: What about a smell? Is there a certain smell that reminds you of Christmas?
Pine/spruce trees, turkey roasting. Just the usual stuff. Nothing extraordinary here.

5. TOUCH: Recall a "touching" Christmas memory.
I remember two in particular. I remember the target rifle that Father bought me one year. I also remember a certain bass drum microphone. It was all I wanted one year. Susan and I were dating, but not married yet. Christmas morning, I waited to open that microphone. Mom handed me a box, and it seemed quite heavy for its size. “This must me the microphone!” I squealed. But it wasn’t. It was a book about The Beatles. I tired to hide my disappointment, but couldn’t do it fast enough. I could tell by the look on Mom’s face. Later that evening, Susan came down to open her presents from my family. While she was opening her presents, she said “Oh, here’s one that’s for Bill!” It was my microphone. She and Mom went in on it together, and she wanted to see my expression when I opened it. I leaned an important lesson that day.

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