When Andy Williams sings that song, you just want to smell real Christmas trees, drink eggnog and straddle a beam in the attic.


When Andy Williams sings that song, you just want to smell real Christmas trees, drink eggnog and straddle a beam in the attic.  The beam in the attic reference is related to the time (or times) I felt the need to straddle a beam and let my legs dangle through two holes in the ceiling.



It happens.



It did to me – once, maybe twice.  The fellows who come to fix the ceiling always ask the same thing, “Been getting your Christmas decorations down have you?”



I love the song, but honestly I prefer Andy singing Moon River.



Have you ever noticed the reference in the song to “telling scary ghost stories?”  It kind of puzzles me, but then again some movies like “A Christmas Carol” and the most recent version of the “Grinch” are a little scary.



Why would you want to be scared at Christmas?



If you are like me, the day after Thanksgiving you starting fiddling with your radio trying to find all the stations playing favorite holiday songs.  It’s Christmas to me, but I realize some folks have other things they celebrate.



What do I always want to hear?



With my Mama being gone, I have to hear Elvis Presley sing “Blue Christmas.”  Country music legend, Ernest Tubb sang it a number of years before Elvis, but this is one time I will give Elvis the nod over Ernest Tubb.



It is kind of a sad Christmas song, but it’s still Christmas and it’s very Elvis.  By “Very Elvis” it just seems like it goes with his voice and being a little sad and missing folks.  I can still see the album cover.



Mama always moved the stacks of stuff off of the console record player at Christmas so we could play records all the time.  I loved it.



The other night, my daughter brought my record player into the kitchen to stay for the holidays.  There is just something about listening to Christmas music on a record player that makes everything right.  Honestly, in my case, I’m sure it’s my memories of my Mama.



You can’t have Christmas without Mel Tormé’s “The Christmas Song.”  I prefer Nat King Cole singing it.  After many years of listening to this song, I finally broke down and figured out how to roast chestnuts.



I am not going to give Martha Stewart any competition, but I will say that I enjoy them.  If you try this at home, let me warn you – you can cut a finger off.  An important part of roasting chestnuts is cutting into them with a sharp knife.



There are a couple of schools of thought on cutting the chestnuts.  One is that you cut an “x,” the other is that you cut a “y.”  Having taught college algebra for many years, I think that you can be successful solving for x or y.  That is just my opinion and I will not be showing up on any of the Food Network’s cooking competitions any time soon.



When surfing around the radio dial, I absolutely must find Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” and I want Bing Crosby to be singing it.  It makes me think of the movie “Holiday Inn” which was made in 1942 and it still shown many times on television during the holiday.



I love the movie.  How can you not?  Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire and Virginia Dale.  Ms. Dale (born Virginia Paxton) was a pretty lady.  She was a Top Five Finalist in the 1937 Miss America Pageant.  Her younger sister, “Joey” was runner-up in the 1941 Miss America Pageant.



What else?



José Feliciano singing “Feliz Navidad.”  I never get the Spanish words right, but I love hearing it and singing along.  Again, I know the Christmas album cover from 50 yards away and I still have Mama’s copy.  It is a beautiful song and memory.



Gene Autry has to sing “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”  When he does, I have to tell everyone how “Rudolph” paid for the American League’s Angels baseball team in California.  It did.  Gene made so much money that he bought a baseball team.



I never know what the Angels name is from year to year, it’s been the Los Angeles Angels, the California Angels, the Anaheim Angels and now I think it may be the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.



All I know is that Gene could sing that song like nobody else (and it pretty much paid for a baseball team).  Yes, I know he made a lot of cowboy movies.



My favorite?



Everybody knows what my favorite Christmas song is…



“Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” by my cousin Brenda Lee.  Yes, she’s a second or third cousin, but we are related.  At least that’s what Mama said and Mama didn’t lie to me.



So if you are at the mall, your local Christmas parade or just driving in your car and hear my cousin singing, you have to say, “that’s the Tractor Guy’s cousin.”



Later we'll have some pumpkin pie, and we'll do some caroling.



(That’s my cousin singing that song.)



Find more stories at www.CranksMyTractor.com.