A Hissmass update from James Lileks, whose daughter is now singing — more or less — the Christmas classics in traditional pre-school style.
They sang five songs, including Jingle Bells and We Wish You a Merry Christmas. Same repertoire I sang when I was in the Elim Lutheran Cherub Choir back in Fargo in the early 60s. (As I’ve noted before, I’m still amazed by the way everything rolled around and clicked into place: Gnat was baptized in this church by the same pastor who baptized me in Fargo. Oy.) We had a choir director intent on unlearning our juvenile inflections. It drove him nuts when we hissed that wish: We WISSSSH you a Merachrismus we WISSSSH you a Merachrismus we WISSSSH you a Merachrismus anda HABBYNUYEER. Now I teach Gnat to lean on the Wish. Put your elbow into it, kid.
After the service the kids went back to the Educational Wing, and the parents hit the lounge for caffeine and sugar. The lounge is upstairs, but it’s still the Church Basement as far as I’m concerned. If you have a bunch of Lutherans standing around drinking coffee and eating those sugar cookies with a Hershey’s Kiss stuck in the middle, it is for all practical purposes the Church Basement. I talked to all the mothers oppressed by religion and the patriarchy, including one who’d taken a year off to tend to her newborn and was now going back to supervise large-scale construction developments. O ye invisible burqa of convention, begone!
It’s lovely to have Lileks back for Christmas.