Saturday, December 3, 2011

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories/Auntie Knickers’ Advent Storytime: December 3

One of our Christmas trees this year will be decorated with handmade ornaments. Some have been made by us, some by friends and family members, and some were bought at church Christmas fairs or brought as gifts from foreign lands. I don’t remember having homemade ornaments on my childhood trees, although my siblings and I may well have made some in school or Sunday school. Onkel Hankie Pants’ family at least had the Danish paper hearts,Danish paper heart basket
and in later years we learned to make these and various other ornaments at West Denmark Family Camp.
Tonight’s story is more about the absence of ornaments: The Tree That Didn’t Get Trimmed by Christopher Morley. It seems to have been published first in a book of essays, later as a stand-alone book, and on GoogleBooks I found it in an issue of Boys’ Life from the mid-50s. Morley was “a man of letters” who did not confine himself to one format. His first novels, Parnassus on Wheels and The Haunted Bookshop,became cult classics among a certain bookish crew; a later novel, Kitty Foyle, was made into a movie. Morley also was one of the first judges for the Book-of-The-Month Club and edited two editions of Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations; he was a regular contributor to the Saturday Review of Literature, a magazine with which I whiled away many hours while I should have been studying. In Nassau County, New York, there is a park named for him where his “writing cabin,” The Knothole, is preserved.
The songs are a Norwegian song to the Christmas tree, Sang til Juletraeet, by Mike & Else Sevig, and a humorous song, Revenge of the Christmas Tree, by Erik Darling.

No comments: