“A star, a star, dancing in the night …”

Photo credit: © 2011 Michel Denis Pouradier, all rights reserved

Tonight, I’ll be celebrating Christmas Eve with my French family and, even though I’ll see my parents on Skype, I’ll be missing them terribly. It’s not easy to be 4,000 miles away from them on a day like today, but that’s how it is for the moment. Last year, Michel and I spent Christmas in South Carolina, so this year it’s my turn to celebrate in France. Since I won’t be contemplating the meaning of the day in the soft glow of the lights of their Christmas tree, listening to Bing Crosby on my father’s old record player, and waiting with anticipation for some decadent dessert from my mom’s kitchen, I’d like to dedicate this song — one of my favorites — to my dear, sweet parents.

Mama and Daddy, I wish you a Merry Christmas with all my heart,
and I want you to know that I’ll be home as soon as I can, even if it won’t be this Christmas Eve.

(the Carrie Underwood version)

(the Glee version, which — as lovely as it is — unfortunately lacks the final verse)

And now, the story of that beautiful song  … Continue reading “A star, a star, dancing in the night …”

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Fried Green Christmas

Palmetto tree lit up for Christmas in Marion Square, Charleston, SC © 2011 Samuel Michael Bell, all rights reserved

It’s been far too long since my last post, and I apologize for that, dear readers. On December 17, we left Paris for the United States to spend Christmas in South Carolina, a trip I’ve nicknamed a “Fried Green Christmas” in homage to my mother‘s Southern cuisine. Since arriving last Saturday, we’ve decorated the Christmas tree and put up Christmas lights, we’ve visited family and friends in Columbia (spending an hour driving through a Christmas-light installation in a 400-acre park), we’ve spent a jam-packed 24 hours with my parents sightseeing in almost-tropical Charleston, surrounded by Christmas lights in palmetto trees, and we’ve finally finished up our Christmas shopping and gift wrapping.

Today, we’ll be joined by my aunt and uncle for Christmas dinner. There will be 6 of us at the table, but only 4 carnivores. Nevertheless, my mother has cooked a 7-lb. Christmas ham (you know, the one decorated with pineapple rings, maraschino cherries, and cloves), and 3 … yes, count ’em … 3 small chickens! That, along with the best carrot cake I’ve ever tasted, means we’re well on our way to packing on a few pounds before those New Year’s resolutions next weekend! Continue reading Fried Green Christmas