Holiday Markers

Fragrant, green and lovely.
with cloves stuck into the lemon
Breathe in the fragrance.

Isn't it funny how small things mark the holidays
Particular smells like clove and nutmeg
The pungent perfume of fresh cut evergreens
and the tantalizing odor of cookies in the oven.

The same is true with the "sounds of Christmas".
Department stores and radios turn on
the strains of Christmas Carols and popular holiday songs
earlier and earlier every year
to jump start the shoppers.

And inside my head
a personal tape starts running
that takes me back to my grandmother's living room
in Charlotte, NC

There would be a large Christmas tree in the adjoining parlor
and perhaps soft homemade peppermint pulled mints.

In the Christmas Season my father's mother, Louise Cobb Diggle,
used to sing a little ditty her English grandmother, Elizabeth Pyburn Grose,
must have brought from London
when she came to the United States in the 1850s.

Christmas is a-coming
And the geese are getting fat
Please to put a penny in an old man's hat.

If you haven't got a penny
Then a ha penny will do.
If you haven't got a ha penny

Then God Bless you!


Dianne said...

Ellouise, I remember that ditty from my grandmother, as well. Maybe they lived in the same village.

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Its an old English folk song most likely known through-out England and other countries.

Anonymous said...

My family is from Italy, but we knew that song too!