My third favorite Christmas song is “Christmas Dream” by Perry Como. With a guest writer.
There isn’t anything really special about the lyrics. It is a song wanting us to remember the meaning of Christmas with a couple stanzas in German.
No, the reason why this is my third is because of family. I am blessed to have a family that loves and cares for me, even if they are pretty conservative – my father is still a never Trump Republican. But through our disagreements and such there is love.
My Grandpa Louie liked this song and would dance with my mom to it ‘round Christmas time. He opened a tavern in rural Wisconsin. He was a 100% Polish American from Milwaukee who left to open a tavern in an unincorporated village named Monterey north of Oconomowoc. The lone Pole in a community of German and Irish, he made the tavern work. He was a character, a storyteller, an entertainer. He was much more than just a slinger of drinks, he became a legend.
People from all over the world would stop in to Louie’s Trading Post and ask for a Pabst, or an Manhattans and they would get a bottle of Blatz or if they were a female, a shorty Miller Lite. You didn’t swear in his tavern and if you got out of line, he would show you the door.
I loved him deeply and I still miss him. After he died, he left the tavern to my mom and me. That was in 2000. I suffered incredible social anxiety. I would tend bar but only for a half hour and then rush into the house and watch TV
But over the years, I got more and more comfortable behind the bar. I became more and more comfortable with myself. Even if I became more and more liberal. Waukesha County is the most conservative county in Wisconsin. But I also became a slinger of drinks and people began to come to see me. By the end I was behind the bar six hours a night.
I always loved Christmas time around the bar. We would put up decorations, play Christmas songs on the CD player. And the first one we played every year was “Christmas Dream.” My mom and I would dance this elaborate dance and have a fun time. Sometimes I would imagine that the Spirit Of Grandpa Louie was dancing with us.
Crazy things, said an’ done,
Every single day but one!
Every night should, I believe,
Be the same as Christmas Eve,
Nights should all be silent,
Days should all slow down,
An end to the hurry, the noise and the worry!
And I hope you believe that too!
Does no one remember?
I remember, and I always smile when I do.
Guest writer, Mom:
Memories are funny things. I do remember dancing around the tavern to “Christmas Dream.” When alone I would fantasize about dancing up to each of my customers, bestowing a Christmas wish. I dreamed of Daddy being with me, but I never had the chance to physically dance to this song with him.
When Max shared this dance with me, we would include Daddy’s spirit and I think that Max added my tears of remembrance to the slurry of that Christmas pudding and out came a new mythic memory — and tradition. Its a good tradition. And a good memory.