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Friday, December 16, 2005

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas

But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. (Romans 8:25 )
I’m not sure how it works.

Our first two years in Anchorage, 103.1, “The Mix,” played Christmas music exclusively between Thanksgiving through Christmas.

This year, on Thanksgiving Day, without a moment’s hesitation, this is where the radio dial was turned. As expected, 103.1 helped me get in the holiday spirit while I cleaned house and prepped food to holiday songs. Outside, snow fell in soft, fluffy piles.

The whole Thanksgiving weekend, I kept the radios on and tuned to “Chris-Mix” 103.1. Then, on the following Monday, when I got in the car to take the kids to school, regular music was on. Not a Christmas song for miles.

After a couple days of trying, I shut of my radio and called it quits. I had been abandoned.

During the previous two Christmas seasons, the on-going music kept me going especially while folding laundry before sunrise and cooking dinner after sunset.
Even the cringe-worthy, highly ethno-centric, culturally insensitive ‘80’s hit, “Do They Know It’s Christmas” used to perk me up through the dark Alaska December days. But for whatever reason, Christ-Mix was dead, swallowed by some communications-industry Grinch.
I despaired.

I seriously considered calling 103.1 and complaining, or at least explaining why they had failed me. I never did. Circumstances intervened.

Imagine my delight when, upon returning home from some unmemorable errand (probably Christmas shopping), there was a message on my voicemail box from a different Anchorage radio station. It was prerecorded from 98.9, “The Magic.” They just wanted to let me know that this year they are playing Christmas music exclusively on their station.
I immediately called their main reception desk and thanked them profusely for their auto-dial machine, and for making my holidays worthwhile.

Guess where I reprogrammed all my radio dials to that day?

I don’t know why the exclusive Christmas music moved from one radio station to another this year. It’s a bit of a mystery which I suspect involves payola, contract-rights, and other kinds of non-cheery communications-industry things.

So now, every morning I turn on my radio to 98.9 and get my fill of all kinds of musical artists doing their renditions of holiday music. Bruce Springsteen, Mariah Carey, The Chipmunks, Dean Martin, Mel Torme, Hall and Oates, and, yes, even The Osmonds (it was actually pretty good – I might check it out at iTunes) get me through laundry-folding and food-prep.

My favorite Christmas song this year is an oldie, but one I’ve never heard before. It’s called “Marshmallow World, “ by Dean Martin. Here are the lyrics:
It's a marshmallow world in the winter
When the snow comes to cover the ground
It's the time for play, it's a whipped cream day
I wait for it the whole year round.
Those are marshmallow clouds being friendly
In the arms of the evergreen trees
And the sun is red like a pumpkin head
It's shining so your nose wont freeze.
The world is your snowball, see how it grows
Thats how it goes whenever it snows
The world is your snowball just for a song
Get out and roll it along
It's a yum-yummy world made for sweethearts
Take a walk with your favorite girl
It's a sugar date, what if spring is late
In winter it's a marshmallow world

I wish I could tell you that I am living in a marshmallow-world. In Alaska, of all places, you'd think it was a sure thing. But unfortunately, for the third time this season, we have been blasted with warm air from the southeast. The temperature at this moment is 34.3 degrees F. ("Heat" is a relative term.) Normally it would be in the mid- to low twentiesj this time of year. It’s disgusting, really. The snow is not only melting, but it does so in a very messy way. In the spring, this is fine. In December, with three and a half more months of potentially snow-producing weather ahead of us, it just stinks. Because you KNOW it's going to get cold again in a couple days and the roads are going to get icy, and be N-A-S-T-Y.

I am getting under control my irrepressible conviction that the National Weather Service is out to get me. I am coming to believe that the NWS employees really can’t be getting any more pleasure from mentioning the r-word (rain) than I am. Their sluggishness at updating the forecast can only mean that they are avoiding passing on bad-news to their "patrons." They only tell it like they see it, and don’t actually make decisions about the weather. Right?

So, our world is not very “marshmallow-y” right now. No “whipped cream days” or “pumpkin head” suns. Gosh, can’t even see the moon, much less the sun. (Although the other day I did get a STUNNING view of Mc Kinley that almost sent me careening off the road and into a ditch.) The arms of the evergreen trees are pretty bare, and it sure isn’t yum-yum-yummy outside.

But at least I can hope for a white Christmas.


At 7:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe NWS is just trying to make you feel like you're in Seattle again. Perhaps they don't understand how truly happy you all are up there ;-) At least your non-stop Christmas music is better than ours. For the first time ever I have been listining non-stop to Warm 106.9 (the only station that does it here- I feel SO OLD with my radio tuned in there). Many of the one's you've listed never show. So congratulations. However, you've got to think that the auto dial thing involved some intervention from a higher power. That's kind of a BIG coincidence.-k


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