The Christmas Curse

by Medora MacD

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year, Dusty,” Nia Imani repeated stubbornly. “Every culture in the world celebrates this season, the time when darkness gives way to light, despair to hope, hatred to love. It’s time to kick those Christmas blues, babe. Santa Claus is coming to town!”

Assistant Professor of Economics Adeste Fideles knocked back another long swallow of eggnog. She was, as always, drinking the unleaded version, the whole family having sworn off alcohol following Grandma Effie’s terrifying experience.

“As you well know, Nia, I, like you, have absolutely no interest in having some portly dude sliding around in my … er … chimney. This time of the year or any other. I’m getting nuttin’ for Christmas — and that’s the way I like it. The season’s nothing more than a monumental demonstration of the continuing validity of Veblen’s Theory of Conspicuous Consumption, an overhyped holiday filled with all the brotherly love resident in a… an artichoke.”

A sad look filled her friend’s eyes and Dusty softened the rhetoric a tad. “Well, except for you and the delectable Ms. Mele Kalikimaka. I’m sure that you newlyweds will be doing your very best to fill the Garden State with sisterly love.”

A blush suffused the drama instructor’s beautiful brown face at the prospect of her first Christmas with Mele since their marriage in Canada in August. Dusty smirked at her besotted friend, resolutely pushing away the remorse and despair that jabbed her whenever she contemplated the dark and lonely days ahead of her.

“I can see it now,” she continued, impishly. “The two of you will be curled up in front of the fireplace, chestnuts roasting on an open fire. You’ll spend the evening opening gifts wrapped in pretty paper and then unwrapping each other and playing … Pat-a-Pan.”

“You’re still welcome to come over the river and through the woods to Rahway, ya know,” said Nia, when she stopped giggling. “Mele’s turned the place into a veritable winter wonderland. You know, the kind of place that brings Martha Stewart to her knees …”

“Oooh, kinky!”

“Stop it, you!” Nia backhanded Dusty goodnaturedly. “It’s fantastic, honest. One of the advantages of living with one of New York’s great set designers. She really knows how to deck the halls. First she hung up the holly and the ivy, then she placed a layer of silver bells over it. The tree’s a feast of lights with a star of wonder at the top — and a bottom row of jingle bells for the kittens to play with. Up on the housetop, she’s got Little Saint Nick and Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer — and a sound system that plays the Bobby Rivers Group ‘Twisted Christmas Compilation’ on the half hour, 24/7.”

She laughed and slapped her leg. “God, the night she turned it on for the first time, the neighbors almost had a cow. The guy next door -- you know, old Lang Syne, the guy with the PROTECT MARRIAGE banner on the front of his house? — just kept whacking the battery pack of his hearing aid and roaring at his wife: ‘Do you hear what I hear? For God’s sake, is that guy really singing about walking around in women’s underwear?!’”

A bemused grin lit Dusty’s face. “Sounds like cruel and unusual punishment to me. I’m amazed the cops haven’t hauled your lesbo-pagan butts away.”

Nia smiled back. “Well, they woulda if they coulda, but Mele made sure the volume was one notch lower than the irritating carols that the church bells down the street ding dong merrily on high every hour on the hour. Kinda hard to lock us up without throwing Father Hanrahan in hoosegow, too. The Synes came by to complain anyway, of course. Mele greeted them at the door wearing a grass skirt, a plumeria lei — and little else.”

“Oh my god -- What happened? Besides him drooling uncontrollably, I mean.”

“You know Mele. She just grinned. ‘Sorry,’ she says, doing her best Fargo imitation. ‘I yust go nuts at Christmas.’ Syne sputtered helplessly for a few minutes and then his wife hauled him home. Mele swears she was grinning every step of the way.”

“Heh!” snorted Dusty, momentarily jolted out of her depression. She shook her head. “Well, as exciting as it would be to sit around and watch Mele corrupt the neighbors, I’m looking forward to a blessedly silent night this year — sans sniffling and coughing students, sans songs about chipmunks roasting on an open fire, sans the sound of the two of you rocking around the Christmas tree like crazed weasels.”

Sans Jessye, her aching heart added before she could muzzle it.

“You’re sure?” Nia looked anxiously into Dusty’s blue eyes.


Well, that was that, thought Nia. There wasn’t much more she could say or do. She spent a few quiet moments studying the snowflakes shimmering their way through the streetlights outside the café. She’d given it her best shot. Dusty was going to have to find her own way to make it through the season. As usual. She downed the last of her Irish coffee and stood up.

“Best be going, I guess, if I intend to get home for the holidays instead of spending them with your silly, stubborn ass.” She grinned affectionately at Dusty. “I’m all in favor of that white Christmas they’re predicting, but not until my train gets me back to my Hawaiian honey. Then they can let it snow all they want.”

She shrugged into her coat, adding a blue Christmas scarf bedecked with demented images of Frosty the Snowman, then, leaning over her seated friend, dropped a kiss on the top of her dark head and wrapped her up in a fierce hug from behind.

“Don’t spend the 12 days of Christmas vacation hibernating in that apartment grading final exams,” she whispered in her ear. “Have yourself a merry little Christmas — and a happy Hanukkah, blessed Solstice, and happy, happy Kwanzaa, too!” She headed for the door, intending, for a change, to leave well enough alone. Ah hell, who am I kidding? She darted back and wrapped her arms around her friend’s neck once more.

“I know you didn’t want anything for the holidays, but I’m going to give you something anyway — a piece of sage advice.” She felt the tall woman stiffen ominously, but plowed ahead. “Call her, damn it. She’s the one, Dusty. The real deal. Don’t blow it.” She turned and left this time, not daring to look back as she waved down a cab and asked the driver to take her to Penn Station and her commuter train.

Dusty cradled her aching head in her hands. Damn! It felt like the little drummer boy was using her skull to warm up for the half-time show at the Rose Bowl. She pushed back from the table and stood wearily. Time to trudge the 15 blocks to home, take some painkillers, and hit the sack. If she was lucky, maybe she wouldn’t wake up until spring.

Ouch! She flinched as the wind racing in from the Hudson tried to exfoliate her skin with a blast of snowy shrapnel. E-effing-gads! she gasped. Baby, it’s COLD outside! She ducked her face into her parka to afford it a little more protection, tucked red mittened hands under her armpits, and plodded onward, hoping the Big Apple’s muggers were smart enough to be spending the evening indoors. Keeping an eye on the shadows just in case, she cast about for something to distract her mind from the below-zero windchills that seemed intent on sucking every vestige of heat from her lanky frame.

She wasn’t thrilled with the subject that popped, unbidden, into her head, but hell, beggars couldn’t be choosers. Heck, it might even be useful: Given how incensed the situation usually made her, pondering the roots of her holiday phobia just might keep her steaming all the way back to her apartment on the Upper West Side.

We all talk about Christmas as if it were something … indestructible, unstoppable, she mused. In fact, it’s amazingly fragile. Delicate enough to be destroyed by a kiss.

Not that the liplock Mama had laid on Jolly Old Saint Nicholas that year was all that dainty. Joyeux Barbie never did things by halves and Christmas was her favorite holiday. Which explained why her mother had married Rudolph Fideles in the first place and then inveigled him into agreeing to give their children the… memorable … names that they had.

It was NOT, however, a satisfactory explanation for why Papa and I saw Mama kissing Santa Claus behind Jingle Bell Rock the year I turned nine, thought Dusty. Or why she ran off with the pudgy department store Santa that night — in a one-horse open sleigh, of course, and laughing all the way — and never returned.

Stupid. Dusty flicked the bead of moisture off her cheek, giving it no time to solidify. Still crying about that after 20 years. Like my therapist said: It’s time to put it behind me.

It was hard to move on, though, when every succeeding Christmas piled another injury atop the old one, until the holiday became a synonym for heartache and disaster.

It was little things at first. Toys that broke the first time you played with them. An overstuffed turkey that exploded in the oven, taking the pumpkin pies with it. The Fideles family had peanut butter sandwiches for dinner that year.

The year-round teasing about her name hadn’t helped, either, of course, thought Dusty. Though she had had it easier than the boys, all things considered. A lot of folks assumed, then and now, that Adeste was just some exotic family name. Only if they had taken Latin did they tend to dissolve into uncontrollable laughter. It was almost impossible to avoid wiseass comments, however, when you had a name like Feliz Navidad Fideles or Good King Wenceslas Fideles.

She and her brothers managed eventually to transcend their parents’ whimsy (it helped if you could throw a perfect spiral pass 60 yards downfield like King or catch one on the fly like Feliz or if you had a 4.0 GPA). The story of their mother’s indiscretion even faded over time. In fact, they had hopes, the year Dusty turned 16, that Christmas might once again become a time of celebration for the Fideles family, rather than a time of ignominy and snickering.

That, however, was before … she gasped for air, left suddenly breathless by the icy blast — or was it the chilling memories? … before the fateful day Papa decided to bolster the family finances by opening a holiday-themed petting zoo.

To everyone’s surprise, unlike most of Rudy’s ideas, this one actually took off. The fine folks of Dover, Del., flocked to the farm by the hundreds, bringing their sticky-fingered, shrill-voiced offspring with them and leaving behind lots of very welcome greenbacks — and some very jumpy livestock.

The family had shut the park down for the day and was celebrating the marvelous reversal in their fortunes when … IT … happened. When Grandma Effie, under the influence of eggnog, decided to personally thank the friendly beasts for helping to make this one such a holly, jolly Christmas.

As it happened, the rum-reinforced effusiveness of her thank yous stomped on one of the ruminants’ last nerves and prompted him to lower his head and charge at her. He intended to fling her far, far away -- in the manger, if possible, or maybe into the manure pit. Grandpa tried to alert Papa to the danger (“Run, Rudolph, run!” he had cried, hoping his son could head off the animal), but it was too late. Before Papa could move a muscle, Grandma got run over by a reindeer.

Her injuries were relatively minor, as it turned out, but the colorful incident captured the imagination of the public — and of a composer who, “inspired” by accounts of the event in “News of the Weird,” wrote a infectious song about it that almost everybody in America ended up singing. Whether they wanted to or not. The Christmas curse, it seemed, was not content to torment JUST the Fideles family.

They pretty much gave up on Christmas after that. The word never crossed their lips. Papa would sooner walk under a ladder carrying a black cat and a broken mirror than let them hang up their stockings or give them presents. (Not in December, anyway. Around the Fourth of July, however, the Fideles kids received mountains of gifts from a mysterious top-hatted man in red, white and blue that nobody else seemed to have heard of.)

The ploy seemed to work. While the family encountered and weathered other crises, including Dusty’s announcement at age 18 that she was gay, back-to-back Decembers passed with not so much as a fender bender registering on the Disaster-o-Meter.

What they didn’t know was that the Fates hadn’t so much forgotten about the Fideles family as they were storing up traumas in anticipation of bestowing a zap of cosmic proportions. Which happened, of course, the year her girlfriend — the first Noel she dated, Noel Blanc as opposed to Cantique de Noel — insisted on coming home with her for the holidays and being introduced to the family.

Dusty stumbled on the sidewalk, regaining her balance at the last possible instant. If only Noel had been able to take “no” for an answer. Even now, the string of disasters that had been visited upon them during that trip was too gruesome to contemplate without twitching.

Suffice it to say that it was a minor miracle that the state of Delaware hadn’t been reduced to a pile of smoldering rubble. Their relationship hadn’t been as lucky. Noel had started the new year by calling everything off. It was tough enough being a lesbian, she declared, without being a lethal one. Asking her to affiliate herself with someone whose mere touch was capable of converting fruitcake into a weapon of mass destruction was asking too darn much.

Two years later, La Bonne Annee, an alluring teaching assistant from France, made a similar pronouncement, though, of course, it sounded much more poetic when she did it. “Ecoutez les anges qui chantent,” she had declaimed, stamping her petite little feet as she exited, stage left. Dusty’s French was rusty at best — she and La Bonne had primarily communicated non-verbally and on a horizontal plane — but she got the message. From that moment on, she dated only between Valentine’s Day and Halloween.

She also took care to never again ask out anyone, anytime, whose name connected even remotely with the spiritual or secular events occurring during the final weeks of one year and the beginning of the next. That turned out to be much harder than she anticipated. Spotting Marys and Marias is no big deal, she noted ruefully, but who knew I’d have to steer clear of Diwalis and Lenaeas, too? She looked up in surprise at the familiar building looming ahead. Hey! What do you know? Back home already — and in record time.

She entered the lobby warily, alert for any indication that someone might be coming down the stairs or ... Looks like it’s all clear.

She crossed to the mailboxes, opening the box for 12G and, with difficulty, extracting her mail. She’d been basically camping out in her office at the university since … — anyway things had piled up. Flipping quickly through the accumulation, she easily identified two postcards from her family — the tacky ones emblazoned with flamingos. Papa, the boys and the grands were enjoying the warmth and amenities of Florida this year, instead of freezing their kiesters off on the farm. She’d be with them, too, if finals hadn’t run late this year — and if she hadn’t been too gaga when their invitation arrived to find a flight she could afford.

Speaking of gaga … Her eyes fixed, despite herself, on the box for 11G. She should have started looking for a new apartment the first day she saw that name affixed there. She ran her finger lightly over the label: JESSYE S CAROL. Papa’s favorite Christmas song. Before …

She sighed. At the very least, she should have been prudent and avoided the Halloween party the building management threw. Talk about playing with fire.

Angrily, she punched the button for the elevator, prepared to dash for the stairwell if … “Ding!” But no — the car was empty. She slapped the button for the 12th floor, heaving a sigh when the doors closed before anyone could join her.

How had it happened?, Dusty wondered, as the glowing numbers ticked by. Things had been going so well, proceeding very much according to plan … until Sommer’s family had invited her back home to Germany for Oktoberfest.

Her relationship with the lusty blonde entomologist had begun tidily the day after Valentine’s Day. It ended when Sommer met a Bavarian botanist, fell head over heels in love, ditched Dusty, and decided to write her thesis in Munich instead of Manhattan.

Sticking her key in the lock, Dusty opened the door to her apartment and slid in, flipping on the hall light and tossing the mail on the table in the foyer. She glanced at the clock — 11:55 — and then at the answering machine. No blinking light. No messages; no messy human entanglements. Probably just as well, though she had hoped …

Feh! she thought disgustedly. It doesn’t matter WHAT I hoped. What matters is what I deserve. And I deserve this. I ~so~ deserve every empty, agonizing minute of this. She flopped into the nearest chair, massaging her aching forehead. The pain refused to go away. It wouldn’t, she was sure, until the cause of it was addressed. Which means I can pretty much look forward to nursing the mother of all headaches until Jack the Ripper and Lizzy Borden win the pairs’ skating competition in Hades!

If only Sommer hadn’t left her at loose ends for Halloween and left her, for a change, in possession of an imaginative costume! The artistic interpretation in silk and linen of the glorious raiment of the moth Hyalophora cecropia, the subject of Sommer’s Ph.D. research, really was too magnificent not to wear. But she should have opted to cruise the Village instead of the party room on the top floor of the apartment complex — and should definitely have run as if the Furies were on her tail the instant that she glimpsed the “Burning Bush,” a vivacious strawberry blonde wrapped head to toe in twinkling yellow and red lights, holding forth by the punch bowl.

Instead, of course, Dusty was drawn inexorably to the young woman’s side — like a moth to a flame. They laughed about that afterwards — and about so much more. Jessye, a pediatric nurse, saw on a daily basis the horrific things that the world did to its most vulnerable citizens, but managed somehow to retain not only a sense of humor, but an infinite supply of care and compassion.

Thank the gods! Gads — Dusty winced at the memory — she even found a way to make me feel at ease after I asked whether the color of her “bush” had been chemically augmented. What the HELL was I thinking?!

The gauche comment had dropped into one of those silences that can suddenly befall a festive occasion, causing more than one of the attendees to look at Dusty in astonishment. Including the woman to whom it had been addressed. She had paused before responding to the sally — to give her answer a greater weight, perhaps, or to give herself the time to enjoy the fabulous, but flustered, figure standing before her, its antennae drooping in abject embarrassment.

“Well,” she replied archly, “That’s for me to know and you to find out, isn’t it?” During the laughter that followed, she had leaned closer: “And you won’t find out unless you are a VERY good girl.” She smiled and patted Dusty gently on the chest to emphasize her point. “Which means you won’t find out tonight — because that line was … just. plain. pitiful.”

The smile on Jessye’s face and in her eyes had taken away any sting that her words might have carried — and had inspired Dusty to make being very good her life’s work.

She’d done pretty well at first, too. She learned the answer to her impertinent question before the week was out — and a number of even more interesting and important things, about Jessye and about herself, in the following month and a half.

And then one day, without warning, she … woke up. One minute she was smack dab in the middle of the wildest, sweetest, most glorious dream of her life, and the next she heard herself asking, “what child is this one for?”

She gazed, uncomprehendingly, at the object in her hands – why was she holding a doll? – and then around the room, belatedly identifying the music on the CD player as The Blind Boys of Alabama imploring everyone to “go tell it on the mountain.” She appeared to have been transported to Santa’s workshop, judging from the toys and books filling the table in front of her and the short, cute blonde wrestling open a roll of Christmas wrapping over on the couch. Gods, she hadn’t seen so much tinsel and and so many candy canes since …

She froze. And then she fled. Just got up, flung the door open, fought her way up the stairs to her apartment, and locked herself in. She sent Jessye a terse email that explained virtually nothing — no point in giving the Fates a few more whacks upside the head — but did succeed in preventing her distraught friend and lover from calling in the guys in the white jackets. Then she cut off all contact with her.

I don’t know what it did to her — I can’t bear to think — but it damn near killed me. Must be like going cold turkey when you’re addicted to heroin. She shook her head disconsolately. Still, it seems a small price to pay for peace on earth.

A headline mocked her from the pile of newspapers littering the foyer: SUICIDE BOMBER KILLS 21; GOVERNMENT CANCELS NEGOTIATIONS, VOWS REVENGE.

“For achieving personal peace of mind, then.” She looked around her apartment, a place devoid of anything cheery or comforting, and gave a derisive laugh. Her existence was peaceful, all right. As peaceful as a grave. And all she had had to do to obtain it was to … forsake hope, forsake humanity, forsake the love of her life. Forsake life itself.

The revelation - it came, upon a midnight clear as the clock striking in the adjacent room and as sharp as a knife - was a simple one: Disaster comes in many forms. She had been living one for years, Dusty realized suddenly. Or rather NOT “living” one, but merely waiting one out, waiting for the ripples of a tsunami triggered 20 years earlier to finally dissipate, for the pain to end. Waiting for the moment she could start breathing again. Start feeling.

She gasped — spasming like someone jolted by the resurrecting paddles of a cardiac defibrillator. Before she could chicken out, she picked up the phone on the end table beside her and hit the first speed dial button. There were four rings and then …

“You have reached the 11th Hour Holiday Hotline, your last chance to register your Christmas wishes before Santa’s sleigh leaves his shop at the North Pole. Jessye Carol speaking.”

Dusty choked back a sob. The voice in the recording sounded a little strained — or was that just her conscience talking? — but it was filled still with warmth and compassion. Maybe it wasn’t too late, maybe…

“After listening to all the options, please press the number corresponding with the gift you want for Christmas.

“I want a hippopotamus for Christmas: Press "1" followed by the pound sign.

“All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth: Press "2" followed by the pound sign.

“I want to be Jessye’s girl: Press "3" …”

Dusty slammed down the receiver. Nobody in her right mind would forgive her for the way she’d acted, much less agree to renew their relationship. Actually, Jessye might … but she shouldn’t. Jessye deserved so much more.

Just as well she wasn’t there, the exhausted academic decided. She rose, intending to take herself off to bed — or to the couch if that’s only as far as she could get. She stood there swaying, staring stupidly at the phone while something important tried, feebly and fuzzily, to make itself known. She heard the furnace cycle on and registered somewhere in the building the sound of a door slamming and feet scuffing on stairs.

Jessye DOES deserve more, she realized. She deserves an explanation or at the very least an apology. And I deserve more. I deserve to find out if I can act like a decent human being, if I can redeem myself, if there’s any chance that we can …

She reached down, picked up the receiver again, and hit redial, trying to figure out what she wanted to say, shaking her head to clear it. That helped a bit. Now it almost seemed like the ringing phone was in the next room, rather than one flight down.

After a fourth ring, the message began again, but fainter than before. Jessye’s sweet voice sounded kind of breathless. Less controlled than she remembered from the first call. She shifted her phone to the other ear, trying to improve the reception.

“You have reached the 11th Hour Holiday Hotline, Jessye Carol speaking. Please listen to all the options, then, um, press the number that corresponds with the gift you want for Christmas.

“I want a hippopotamus for Christmas: Press "1" followed by the pound sign.

“All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth: Press "2" followed by the pound sign.

“I … I want to be Jessye’s girl: Press "3."

“If none of these appeal, wait for the tone, press "4," and leave a detailed message.”

The BEEP Dusty expected didn’t come, just an odd, pregnant silence. She waited a moment or two, decided she must have missed the signal, and launched right in. Afraid there wouldn’t be enough room on the tape to hold everything she wanted Jessye to hear when she played it in the morning. Afraid she wouldn’t have the nerve to call back again when Jessye herself might answer the phone. She gave a nervous cough and then said what was in her heart as simply and as strongly as she could …

“All I want for Christmas is you, Jessye. This year, next year and the rest of our lives.” She bit her lip.

“By the way, this is Dusty, in case you didn’t recognize my voice. In which case, that ‘forever after’ thing might be a little premature. Ditto if you recognized my voice, but it made you so mad you want to throw me off a cliff. Um .. anyway, if you’re willing to grant my wish, you can, I dunno, rap three times on the ceiling … or can call me at 555-4545 or …”

“Hello?” A voice broke in, cooler than she remembered, but unmistakably belonging to ...


“This is the 11th Hour Holiday Hotline.” The tone was determinedly businesslike. “We need more information before we can process your request, Ms. Fideles. The database hasn’t been updated in the last week or so.” The speaker cleared her throat and then continued, less confidently. “Could you tell us a little about your recent behavior? Have you been a good girl?”

Dusty choked back a sob at the pain lurking in the treble voice. Her hand tightened on the phone. “No,” she said. “As a matter of fact, I haven’t. I’ve been a complete asshole — and a coward to boot. I let my fears get in the way of something precious and fine and I’m scared to death that I’ve mucked things up beyond redemption.”

“Perhaps if you told me what …”

“I want to,” Dusty interrupted, tripping over her words. “I really do. I should have in the first place instead of just bolting. And I will, I promise. Starting with ‘I love you with all my heart and soul’ and followed by ‘I am ~ so, so, so very ~ sorry for the pain I’ve caused you and I’ll try never to do it again.’

“This is not something I can explain in 25 words or less, though. Or even 25 hours or less. It has to do with a curse, see, and with thinking that it was easier to do without Christmas or anything else that had to do with hope and happiness, easier to be numb than to run the risk of losing something so …”

Running out of words, she leaned her head against her front door, its coolness and solidity soothing the pounding there, grounding her, as she waited — for far longer than she had hoped to have to — for a response.

When Jessye finally spoke, though, her tone was sure and strong. “This sounds, as you said initially, like something that could take a lifetime.” She paused. “Is that what you’re asking for?”

Dusty’s breath caught in her throat. She’d hoped for forgiveness or maybe friendship. But this? This was a miracle.

“Yes. All I want for Christmas is you, Jessye. Now and forever.”

“Let’s make sure I’ve got this straight: You want me. AND you want Christmas. Both. ‘Cuz it’s a package deal. You can’t have one without the other.”

“Yes. You AND Christmas. And Diwali and Hanukkah and Solstice and Kwanzaa and Twelfth Night and any other thing that celebrates light and love and rebirth.”

“There’s just one problem …”

Dusty straightened abruptly, her heart sinking at the solemn words. “Yes?” she said hesitantly.

“Santa has already made his Manhattan deliveries for 2003. You could wait until 2004 …”

“No!” The anguished cry tore from Dusty’s lips before she could stop it. Then, “Well, unless you need me to. I’m willing to do whatever you … but …”

“Hmm. We could, I suppose, arrange for expedited delivery, but it’s going to require some special effort on your part.”

“Name it, Jess. What do I need to do to …”

“Open the door.”


The knob on the front door began to rotate. Dusty stared at it, dumbfounded, for another heartbeat, then grabbed it, flung the door wide, and found on the other side … an adorable elf in rumpled red and green flannel pajamas, a cell phone in one hand, the other swiping tears out of smiling green eyes. With flaxen hair flattened on one side of her head and spiking wildly on the other, she was the best and most beautiful present Dusty had ever received.

And the last gift for which she would ever ask.

She opened wide her arms and heart and invited her inside.




Translation Key
Nia Imani: two of the days of Kwanzaa: Nia (purpose) and Imani (faith)
Adeste Fideles: Latin for "Oh Come, All Ye Faithful"
Mele Kalikimaka: Hawaiian for “Merry Christmas”
Noel Blanc: White Christmas
Cantique de Noel: O Holy Night!
La Bonne Annee: Happy New Year
“Ecoutez les anges qui chantent”: “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing” – which means, in this case, “the handwriting’s on the wall” or “wake up and smell the coffee, girlfriend: it’s over!
Jessye’s Carol: aka This Christmastide
Cecropia moth (Hyalophora cecropia): Check out the link; consider it for your next Halloween costume,
esp. if you're tall, dark, and gorgeous!

“Green and silver, red and gold, And a story born of old.
Truth and love and hope abide This Christmastide, This Christmastide.”

Songs used:

All 25 Christmas songs on the required list plus

It’s the most wonderful time of the year — Garth Brooks

Not, unfortunately, an actual song, but two of the days of Kwanzaa: Nia (purpose) and Imani (faith)

Christmas Blues — Blues Traveler

Adeste Fideles (Oh Come, All Ye Faithful)Celine Dion, among others

I’m Getting Nuttin’ for Christmas -- Stan Freberg

Hawaiian for "Merry Christmas" — and a Jimmy Buffett tune, too!

Pat-a-Pan — Destiny’s Child, Bette Midler and others

Winter Wonderland -- Perry Como

The Holly and the Ivy -- Clare College Choir

Silver Bells -- Robert Shaw Chorale

Feast of Lights — They Might Be Giants

Star of Wonder — The Roches

Up on the Housetop — Reba McEntire

Little Saint Nick -- Beach Boys

Old Lang Syne -- Guy Lombardo

Walking Around in Women’s Underwear — Bobby Rivers Group

Ding Dong Merrily on High — Charlotte Church

I Yust Go Nuts at Christmas -- Yogi Yorgesson

Chipmunks Roasting on an Open Fire — Bobby Rivers Group

Rocking Around the Christmas Tree -- Brenda Lee

Frosty the Snowman -- David Seville and the Chipmunks

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas -- Jerry Vale

Happy Hanukkah -- Adam Sandler

Happy, Happy Kwanzaa -- Bunny Hull

Baby, It’s COLD Outside! -- Ella Fitzgerald

Jolly Old Saint Nicholas — Canadian Brass

Feliz Navidad — Jose Feliciano

Good King Wenceslas — The Beatles, Loreena McKennitt, and others

The Friendly Beasts -- Garth Brooks

A Holly, Jolly Christmas — Burl Ives

Away in the Manger -- Petula Clark

The First Noel -- Elvis Presley

Noel Blanc = White Christmas -- Bing Crosby

Cantique de Noel = O Holy Night! -- Leontyne Price

La Bonne Annee = Happy New Year — Michael Doucet and BeauSoleil

Ecoutez les anges qui chantent = "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing" — which means, translated more colloquially, "the handwriting’s on the wall" or "wake up and smell the coffee, girlfriend: it’s over!" -- Jambalaya Cajun Band

Jessye’s Carol (aka This Christmastide) — Jessye Norman, Portland Gay Men's Chorus, and others: "Green and silver, red and gold, And a story born of old. Truth and love and hope abide This Christmastide, This Christmastide."

What Child Is This? -- The Moody Blues

Go Tell It on the Mountain -- The Blind Boys of Alabama

Christmas Wrapping -- Spice Girls

Peace on Earth — U2

I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas -- Gayla Peevey

All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth -- Spike Jones & His City Slickers

I Want to be Jess(y)e’s Girl — Rick Springfield (What do you mean it isn’t a holiday song like all the others? I listened to it just today!!!)



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