austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Put up the tree before my spirit falls again

Among the things we do each year is visit Crossroads Village for Christmastime. They decorate all the historic homes with lights and set up kettle corn stands and prepare shows and have Santa and Mrs Claus greetings crowds and the like. We had hoped to get there with bunny_hugger's brother, but he didn't have the time; and her parents declined the invitation to come. This might be because of the snowstorm we'd had to drive back through last time, although they said it was just that they were too busy getting ready for Christmas for it. So we went ourselves.

We got there in enough time to take in one of the shows. They have a Christmas-themed play every year, but we'd always missed it, usually because it conflicted with the train ride or the like, but this time was different. They billed it as a Christmas melodrama and it was indeed. From the first line it was clearly O Henry's The Gift Of The Magi, which made me realize that though I know the general plot and punch line well I haven't actually read the story. They adapted it, though, not just by dropping in mentions of Crossroads Village but also by including a real actual twist: a relationship between the wigmaker and the husband's heatless employer which, when introduced to the story, made us both gasp and realize we didn't know how the play was going to resolve.

The train, as normal, was to take us through displays of lights, introduced by a conductor who explained many of them. The speaker system was as we got on board playing ``My Rusty Chevrolet'', the agonizing Jingle Bells novelty riff, and that song played again, from the start, at least two more times while we were making our way around. The lights were as ever great to watch, although the train took the ``wrong'' direction around the turn where the lights were decorated for the Twelve Days of Christmas, so that the song and the lights were out of order, unfortunately. They also, to our regret, didn't explain the hot air balloons or the Christmas Dragon at the other turnaround.

While the carousel was running --- and as fast as ever --- the Ferris wheel wasn't, which is disappointing as it's a fun ride and gives a great altitude view of the decorated village. Possibly it was closed for weather; there had been snow earlier in the day and maybe they didn't want to risk the machinery in inclement weather. Possibly they close it for winter now, which would be awful. But bunny_hugger did find in the charity gift stand a Smithsonian carousel ornament, a limited edition one from the 80s, that was considerably underpriced considering. That would be added to the tree when we got home.

Trivia: The first United States-issued postage stamps, made in 1847, put Benjamin Franklin on the five-cent stamp and George Washington on the ten. Source: The King's Best Highway: The Lost History Of The Boston Post Road, The Route That Made America, Eric Jaffe.

Currently Reading: American-Made: The Enduring Legacy of the WPA, Nick Taylor.


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