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Southern Holidays

1. Stringing up the Christmas lights and raking the yard can occur simultaneously. Today, we divided into two teams and took care of both jobs. These festivities were punctuated every fifteen minutes or so by the reveberation of a shotgun as our next door neighbor scared a flock of Canadian geese out of his back yard.

2. It was cold today as we worked out in the yard so, we bundled up in our sweaters (three or four apiece), our mittens and our toboggans. For those of you who are doing a double take...toboggans are hats down here. I guess the southerners felt left out. What's this, ya'll? A word we have absolutely no use for? I know. Let's change hat to toboggan. We'll show those Yankees.

3. Sometimes it snows. Well, it's only snowed once since we've moved here. The children dashed outside in their pajamas. I didn't call them back in to get dressed. It was a good thing. The snow melted before breakfast.

4. Southerners find innovative ways to create snow. Last night the children played handbells in an antique store at Smallville's annual Christmas festival. Snow drifted down in front of the windows as we played. Snow made by blowing soap from a giant fan attached to the roof overhead. Snoap, the children call it. One malfunctioning machine shot out snoapballs. The snoap fell straight down and covered a few vehicles. We watched the unfortunate drivers of these cars pick their way through the snoap drifts. "Look, Mama. They are snoaped in."

5. Santa Claus is married to Mizzrizz Claus. This one is new to me. I've lived in the South for six years now and it has only been in the past month that I've heard Mrs. pronounced Mizzrizz three or four different times by as many different people.

6. At least once in the next few weeks, someone will sing Christmas Shoes during a service in a small country church. That someone will get too choked up to sing but will stand there tears pouring down her cheeks as the backup music plays. Most of the parishioners will also get choked up, even without the words. For my part, I think this song should be illegal. What do you think?

If you are uninitiated, here's the song in it's four minutes-something seconds entirety. I don't recommend you that watch it or anything but I didn't want you to feel left out. So if you must...

7. Once a girl moves south, she can't move north again. The warm climate thins the blood. I am typing this post wearing three sweaters, a pair of wool socks and a toboggan.


Oh, Kate! I am snickering right now because of my wholehearted belief that Christmas Shoes was written for the express purpose of tormenting us.

This is one of those songs that I hear on the radio around this time of year, and I immediately have to change the station.

BTW...we're glad to have you down here with us!

kittyhox said…
Oh. my. heavens.

That is a painful song. I honestly don't know if I cold sit through that during a church service... without getting the inappropriate giggles. Actually, if anyone anywhere near me cries for any reason I HAVE to cry, too. So I'd probably be all choked up along with everyone else, despite the cheesiness.

Thanks for the cultural info about Southern winters - fun stuff!
40winkzzz said…
Yes, yes, I agree! "Christmas Shoes" ought to be banned from the airwaves. Of all the many annoying Christmas songs out there, that one may be the most annoying of all. I am happy to say I have *never* heard it sung in church.

Toboggans = hats? So you put on a toboggan to protect your noggin?
Mama JJ said…
Kate, I love your observations---little snippets that paint a clear picture of a different culture.

Kim said…
Your brother agrees entirely with your assessment of Christmas Shoes. When we moved to DC years ago he shared an office with a woman who listened to the lite radio station that only played Christmas music after Thanksgiving. He must have heard Christmas shoes 2000 times and was ready to stick forks in his ears. At the time I couldn't believe it was an actual song--you know how your brothers can make things up and exaggerate sometimes. Well, in this case he wasn't wrong!

Thankfully we have yet to hear it here although there's always a chance.


PS Totally agree about the cold climate. It's still August here as far as I'm concerned.
ValleyGirl said…
I'd LOVE to have that blood-thinning problem!!! I can certainly imagine never wanting to return to three months of -40 and six months of snow!! (Okay, the -40 is a slight exageration, but there are at least three months each year up here where that's a fairly normal occurence!)

And amazingly enough, I DID know that southerners wore their toboggans on their heads! It still makes me smile, though. Language is such a funny thing.

Okay, now I'm off to listen to Christmas Shoes, because that's one I've never heard of before.
Sarah said…
I inadvertently enlarged the video when I was trying to turn up the volume, because I've never heard this song before. Rob's on the couch next to me saying, "Turn that !@#* off!" because apparently he has heard it before and obviously doesn't enjoy it. Anyway, I loved your post - Christmas in the south is, um, a little different! Something I never got used to.

Girl that is such a good list. I do believe you are right. We were back north for Thanksgiving and I thought I was going to die of frostbite! A little dramatic I know but it was so colder than I remembered!

Much love,
Joy said…
Ah, come on now, you're going and making me miss the South.
mary grace said…
Great. I ALMOST made it through a Christmas without getting homesick, and then I go and read this ... :-)
jodi said…
Too funny! I am a Southern transplant too and can relate. Actually, due to the unseasonable cold weather we've had, I think this is the first year I haven't done my Christmas shopping in flip flops and capri pants.

As for the song, Christmas Shoes doesn't bother me. But that one with the little girl singing about wanting a hippopatamous for Christmas, is like nails on a chalkboard for me!
Christy said…
I haven't been in the South long enough, I haven't heard anyone use the word toboggan! I can't keep but picturing you with a (northern style) toboggan balancing on your head!
ValleyGirl said…
Oooooo, guess what?! Christmas Shoes was on TV last Sunday night and I missed it!!!! I only heard about it the following evening at our church ladies' annual Christmas salad supper. A couple of the ladies at my table talked about watching it and balling their eyes out. Nuts.

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