Bells

bellsThings I’ve done in the last 48 hours.

– Baked 6 loaves of special holiday whole wheat bread, with cinnamon and brown sugar*.
– Delivered 4 loaves of the aforementioned bread as gifts to friends
– Ate 3/4 of 1 loaf of the aforementioned, remaining bread
– Searched TV menu for decent Christmas programs, finding none.
– Watched 1/3 of each of the LOTR movies
– Finished Christmas shopping for 6 gift cards, 1 bracelet, 2 sweaters, 6 bottles of shampoo/lotion that I can’t smell, and 2 or 3 things that were bought that I’m not sure what happened to them.
– Drank 1 bottle of Magic Hat #9
– Bought 2 large packs of AA batteries
– Watched the final 2 minutes of 2 different NFL games
– Washed 3 loads of my son’s college laundry to get it out of the floor
– Listened to 1/9th of my 9 hour Spotify Christmas playlist
– Played ukelele for 5 minutes
– Assembled 1 rolling rack
– Ventured out twice to the local megamart after I specifically stated that I wanted my errands completed early, so I would have to experience the last minute madness…yet I forgot 2 things…at 2 different times.
– Pondered how to write a 1 Christmas post that could accomodate my desire to recognize one of my favorite carols/poems.
– Wrote the following sentence – Henry Wadsworth Longellow wrote a poem in 1863, entitled “Christmas Bells.”

It was written on Christmas Day 1863, likely as a result of the news that Longfellow’s son Charles had been wounded in Civil War action earlier that year…and the recent loss of his wife Frances. There is just a snippet below. I encourage you to search out the poem and read all of it. It is short by Longfellow’s epic lyrical poem standards**.

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
and mild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It has been set to music twice. In 1878, the English organist, John Baptiste Calkin, used the poem with a melody he previously used as early as 1848. The more familiar version was set to music in the 1950’s by Johnny Marks (he of Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer fame). I’m partial to the Bing Crosby recording. However, google the recent recording by The Civil Wars, which is very inspiring, and in light of the poem’s origins, somewhat “poetic.”

Wishing you all a Happy Christmas.

********************
*A recipe handed down in the oral tradition from my father to me. Though it has origins in the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.
**Pun intended

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