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Monday, December 14, 2020

A Few of my Favorite Things by Bea Tifton

It always puzzles me how the song “These Are a Few of My Favorite Things”  became a Christmas staple. And why each year The Sound of Music plays as a holiday movie. But, as I heard the song once again sandwiched between the carols on my “Play Christmas Music 24/7 until Christmas Day” radio station, I decided to share a few of my favorite things. 

My Favorite Childhood Christmas Memory: When I was a child, unbeknownst to me, we had a neighborhood peeper. One night when I was playing in the family room, a man’s face appeared in the window. He must have been crouching, because he was at eye level with me. Bearded face, big ears. I’d seen a face like that in pictures many times.  I ran into the next room and burbled excitedly, “Mommy! I just saw an elf! He was looking in our window!” Without missing a beat, my mother said, “Oh, that’s nice. He must have been checking on you for Santa.” She sent me into another room to play and made a phone call to the local authorities.  

My Favorite Family Christmas Story:  Long before I was a twinkle in my father’s eye, my newly

engaged parents were driving from Dallas to Lubbock where both sets of parents lived for
Christmas. My mother saw some mistletoe and expressed a desire for some to take to her
mother’s house. My father pulled over the car, climbed over a barbed wire fence,  and shinnied
up a tree, deftly picking a cluster of the  desired plant.

My favorite Christmas movie: I love many of them, but my very favorite is Christmas in Connecticut.
with Barbara Stanwyck. (Don’t even talk to me about that abysmal remake years later)
It’s a screwball comedy about a  woman who is what would now be called a lifestyle expert. Never
mind that in truth she can’t even boil water. When her boss insists that she host a war hero at her
nonexistent farm for Christmas, the fun begins. Every year, watching the movie makes me want
to flip pancakes.

My favorite Christmas books: The adult one is A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. I love reading it  each year. I have a great version that shows a photo of the original handwritten manuscript facing each page of typed text. Once when I was the librarian at an unnamed school, we had to hang these lengths of paper chain that students made in art. I held up a length of chain and intoned, “These chains I forged in life. I made it link by link, and yard by yard.” The other four teachers looked at me like I’d just shoved a bean up my nose. I actually did hear crickets chirping. 

The Children’s Book is Great Joy by Kate DiCamillo. Love, love, love this book. Everyone young and old should read it. And after you read it, study the pictures while watching the original “Miracle of 34th Street. “The artist drew  a woman who looks like Maureen O’Hara and a child who looks like Natalie Wood. 

These are only a few of my favorite things. Whatever holiday you celebrate, and however you choose to celebrate it, I hope you have a holiday, and an upcoming year, filled with peace, health, and happiness. 


  1. Nice post as always. Isn't it funny the things we remember from childhood? I remember getting the tree on our farm. Nobody purchased trees back then. And the ugliest (sometimes misshapen) tree turned into a Cinderella one once the lights were on. Have a great Christmas! Be well. Be safe!

    1. I know what you mean, Judy. Decorations made the difference in an ugly-duckling tree and a beautiful one.

  2. I loved this post, Bea. That bottom photo looks a little like my Christmas village but mine has a train.

  3. Bea, I loved this post, too. It took me back in time. Miracle on 34th Street is one of my favorite Christmas movies. I've never seen Christmas in Connecticut, but now I'll have to look it up.

    I had to chuckle at your mom shinnying up that tree to get a bunch of mistletoe. Too bad you don't have a picture of it. Lol.

    I hope you have a great Christmas filled with laughter, peace, and joy.

  4. Great favorites- but now your Mom's heroes would just shoot that mistletoe out of that tree. Merry Christmas!

  5. Love the post, how could a teacher not understand that quote, but, then again I probably read A Christmas Carol when I was 9 or 10 years old.
    A Christmas Carol is both my favorite Christmas book and Christmas movie along with miracle on 34th Street.
    My favorite Christmas memory is multiple, we had a tradition that there is a gift we got to open on Christmas Eve and it was always a book and new pajamas, we attention to our pajamas and our parents would make us a virgin Tom and Jerry then, we would sit and read our books.


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