Began a sunny, windy morning with breakfast and Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales. The most recent Peanuts holiday special is another series of skits, this one intended to be shown as part of an hour-long broadcast with A Charlie Brown Christmas. It has some cute material in its own right, including Snoopy as a street-corner Santa and Sally writing to "Samantha Claus" and how she gets a Christmas tree.
Rushed out to run a few quick errands after the Peanuts ended. First stop was the PNC Bank in Collingswood to pick up a check for the rent. Since it was on my way home anyway, I stopped at the Oaklyn Library to volunteer. The head librarians were decorating the main room when I walked in. They were the only ones I saw the whole half-hour I was there. I looked at the DVDs and organized the board books in the kids' area.
As soon as I dropped the rent next-door, I headed inside to start the dusting in my bedroom. There's a reason I only do heavy dusting in the late fall and early spring. It takes a long time to thoroughly dust in there. That's where I keep the majority of my books and collections. Some of those things, especially the tiny six-inch Star Wars action figures, are a pain to clean under, and that's when I'm not reading the books.
Listened to my True Value Happy Holidays cassettes and CDs while I worked. I've had most of these for a long time. I started collecting them from the True Value Hardware store off just off Cape May's downtown area in 1993. I bought Volumes 28, 29, and 30 as cassettes. (I've since replaced 30 on CD.) I finally had a CD player by the time Volume 31 came out in 1996 and have 31 through 34 on CD. I only have 35 on cassette because the Cape May True Value was out of the CDs by the time I came home from college. The True Value became an Ace Hardware in 2001, which put an end to my collecting. I did find 39 at a yard sale in Audubon a few years ago. (There's a small True Value on a side street in Audubon.)
Of the True Value collections I own, my favorite by far is my first CD, Volume 31. There's a lot of classics there, including the Beach Boys' "Little Saint Nick," Frank Sinatra's version of "I'll Be Home For Christmas," "Santa Baby" by Eartha Kitt (the first time I ever heard that version!), "Snoopy's Christmas" by the Royal Guardsmen, and the rollicking Andy Williams "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year." My favorite of the cassettes is Volume 28, with "A Candle In the Window" by Alabama, Jim Croce's "It Doesn't Have to Be That Way," "The Holly and the Ivy" by Roger Whittaker, and the adorable "Til Santa's Gone (I Just Can't Wait)" by Clint Black.
(And wouldn't you know it, Volume 28 broke almost as soon as I finished listening to it. Well, I have run it every year for the last 25 years. I'm going to have to check around for a replacement for that one.)
Here's more details on the Happy Holidays series - this forum lists every single volume, including some oddities like the two done by a piano team or the 2-disc 20th anniversary set.
It took me so long, I broke for lunch about half-way through. Watched Nestor the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey while making a Banana-Cranberry Smoothie for lunch. Nestor is a cute donkey colt with excessively long ears. They're always getting in his way, until a sweet cherub named Tilly leads him to the desert. He's purchased by a certain couple named Joseph and Mary, who need a donkey to take them to Bethlehem. Those ears prove to be literal lifesavers when they allow him to hear his way through a sandstorm.
Dressed the dolls for the holidays after I finally finished dusting the bedroom. I had no idea what to put Ariel in. I finally went with the Sweet Spring Outfit, a cream-colored knitted sweater dress with silver threads that looks glittery enough to pass for the holidays, despite the pink flower and ribbon trim. Borrowed Molly's white t-strap shoes and the ruffly Springfield Collection sweater, as the dress is short-sleeved. Whitney wears a black felt Springfield Collection shrug over her Snowflake Ball Gown from 2010 with the black velvet strap shoes from Ivy's Chinese New Year Dress. (They fit her better than Jessa.) Jessa wears Josefina's black mules with the modern Chinese New Year Outfit from the mid-90's. Samantha's in her Cranberry Christmas Dress with the red shoes from her green Spring Dress. Molly gets her green velvet dress with the strap shoes from Sam's current "meet" outfit. Felicity's wearing her blue Colonial Ballgown with the choker from Josefina's Feast Day accessories. Josefina looks like a Spanish princess in her yellow-striped Regency dress and black mantilla. I threw in the black fan from her Feast Day accessories for added elegance.
Did some writing next. The Ghost finally returns Scrooge to his parlor room where they started. Scrooge wants him to stay, but his time is growing short. He warns Scrooge against staying on his course, showing him two ragged children who represent the ills of man. He and the children finally vanish, leaving Scrooge to fall into a troubled sleep in his chair.
Had a very quick dinner of canned Italian Wedding soup around 6:30, then pulled out the Santa Bag. This huge red felt bag holds the decorations I always put up first and put away last, like the nativity, the wreath, the crocheted cup holders, the mistletoe, and the garlands. The garlands tend to be a bit of a pain to hang up and tack to the wooden walls. Mom gave them to me specifically because she'd gotten tired of trying to get them to hang right. The effect looks so good around the windows, though, that it's worth the effort. (I've got a secret to hanging them that Mom didn't have. I use twist-ties and tie most of them to the unused curtain rods on the windows.)
Ran Mame while I worked. I go into further detail on this bright and brassy vehicle for Lucille Ball at my Musical Dreams Reviews blog:
Finished the night online after a shower chatting with Lauren and watching more MS3K on YouTube. San Francisco International looks like it's from not long after Mike came in. The guys make fun of a TV movie that was a pilot for a short-lived series in the 1970's. This standard 70's melodrama is so dull, it needs the guys' wisecracks. (What it doesn't need is Mike's bizarre and dated Urkel imitations in the skits.)
San Francisco International