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Christmas: The I’m Not Stalking You Way! Part 2

For Part 1, please click here: https://imnotstalkingyou.com/2014/12/12/christmas-the-im-not-stalking-you-way-part-1/

NOTE: This post has ADULT CONTENT. Not for young eyes.

Adult Content

Adult Content

Now that I have that disclaimer out of the way, let’s talk about Santa Claus.

One of my earliest childhood memories (I cannot even tell you how old I would have been) was of waking up in the middle of the night in December and hearing the sound of gift wrapping in my kitchen. I sort of groggily thought, “Oh, I guess there is no Santa Claus. I guess my mom just buys all my gifts and wraps them for me.” Then I went back to sleep.

Futurama rules

Futurama rules

I never felt cheated by that experience. I actually think it saved me from waking up to the harsh reality years later that many kids have to go through, when they find out all their gifts come from family members shopping on Black Friday. I have just always known that there is no Santa Claus. Sure, my mom would always sign a few of the gift tags “From: Santa”. My stockings would magically be filled Christmas morning “by Santa”. We had no chimney. She would try to tell me, when I asked, that she would let Santa in the door.

Peeping Santa

Peeping Santa

I know my mother. There is no way she is opening the door for a strange old man while she is in her nightgown in the middle of the night. She wouldn’t even let people we KNEW in the house while she was in her nightgown.

I never saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus

I never saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus

Don’t get me wrong, I love THE IDEA of Santa and his sleigh and reindeer and elves. I love the songs. I love the Classic Coca-Cola ads with his image. I just don’t fully buy into it. I blame the realistic Capricorn in me that always seeks the truth.

Just wrong, in so many ways...

Just wrong, in so many ways…

But, the little that I DO believe about the legend of Santa comes from an unlikely source.

PM Magazine.

PM Magazine was a syndicated news show back in the early 1980’s, which featured human interest stories and lots of entertainment content. In my area, it was shown on WTOL Channel 11, just before The Muppet Show. So, I would often see the last five minutes as I was waiting for The Muppets to come on. In my memory, the picture is a little greenish. I think that was because of the color TV we had that was dying and only had one color left–green.

Anyway, I remember a story near Christmas time on PM Magazine about the REAL Santa Claus.* I recall the story being about some old guy who lived in a town near the North Pole. For his town, he would dress up as Santa and deliver toys to all the kids in town.

And that was enough for me.

To know that there was one guy who played the part of Santa in one town in the whole world was enough for me. To know that something like that exists has kept me going with the Christmas spirit all these years. Of course, that was 30 years ago. Dude is probably dead by now. And there was probably one mom like mine in that town who wouldn’t want to let him in the door anyway. But maybe, just maybe, he is still delivering those presents, to this day.

What?! Ugh!

What?! Ugh!

I do not plan to encourage or discourage my son’s belief in Santa Claus. But if he asks me if their is a real Santa, I will recite my fuzzy memories of that green news story to him from three decades ago.

Working at the mall recently, I got to know the Santa there very well. He is a super-nice guy. Even though I found out what his secret identity is the rest of the year, he still seems like Santa to me, because he is the only one I have gotten to know personally.

Santa is my BFF

Santa is my BFF

* I am sure many of my details about the PM Magazine story are inaccurate. I found where it may have aired on 12/24/1984, with the title of Real Life Santa.  I would have been only like 8 years old. But that show aired so long ago, that anyone else’s memory would be tainted with time as well. Unless someone has the actual classic footage for the Santa story, in which case I would LOVE to see it.

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Rocky Mountain Christmas

To most, John Denver is a joke.

To me, he is the sound of Christmas.

When I was a kid, my mom had the record (large, round, vinyl black thing with grooves) Rocky Mountain Christmas by John Denver.  She played it every year at holiday time.  Christmas starts for me with the first few tinkling notes of Aspenglow.

Rocky Mountain Christmas by John Denver on CD & record, and John Denver: Christmas in Concert on CD

I would be happy if it was the only Christmas album I ever owned or played.

My mom didn’t own any other John Denver records.  My crazy friend knew that I liked this Christmas album, so then on mix tapes she would put other non-Christmas John Denver songs.  She didn’t understand.  It wasn’t so much that I liked John Denver, it was that I liked his voice with this collection of Christmas songs from this period of time.  From my childhood.

John Denver sings nice, straight-forward renditions of the classics: The Christmas Song, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, the seldom-heard Silver Bells, Away in a Manger, What Child Is This, Oh Holy Night (a spectacular version), and Silent Night.  There is no Mariah Carey warbling.

The original songs on the album are some of my favorites.  I already mentioned Aspenglow.   Christmas for Cowboys paints a wonderful musical picture of a lonely holiday on the snow-covered plains.  My husband likes Please Daddy (Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas).  A Baby Just Like You is my favorite.  John Denver wrote it for his own son Zachary. I love to belt out “MERRY CHRISTMAS LITTLE ZACHARY!” at the top of my lungs.

I know, I’m weird.

Sometimes now I change it to be my sons’ name.

Inside cover of Rocky Mountain Christmas, featuring the lyrics to A Baby Just Like You (I used to love to look at the details of this picture when I was a kid)

Several years ago my mom bought the album on CD, so it was very nice to be able to listen to it again.  The problem was, we had only one copy that we shared.  (I have no idea why I never thought about burning a second copy.  Oh ya, because that would be illegal.;)

Last year I found my own copy of Rocky Mountain Christmas on CD.  I even found a concert version of the same songs.  My mom is very happy I am no longer hogging her CD.

I still don’t understand why none of the Christmas music radio stations play anything off this album.  They play other seldom-played artists.  They always need different artists singing the same 12 traditional songs.  And it would make me so happy.

A Christmas Together: John Denver & The Muppets – Also a nice album, but just not the same for me

I kept my mom’s record of Rocky Mountain Christmas all these years, even though there was no way to play it.

Last year, my husband and I picked up a Fisher Price children’s record player from the 80’s at a garage sale and a handful of records.

So, while I totally enjoy digital clarity, the ability to listen to it in my car, and load it on my iPod, I am playing the original record for my son as I write this.  Sure, it is scratchy from 37 years of use and improper storage and probably a pretty dull needle.  But it takes me right back to being a preschooler myself in my living room in our house in Riga, Michigan.  In the terrible 70’s clothes that my mom dressed me in.


When you listen to the CD, you don’t have to see his dorky appearance.

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