It’s been a pretty eventful holiday season so far, not even counting the arrival of the K-Rod and JJ in the Mets bullpen. So we present a special Deezo Christmas Friday Five.
1) We cut down our own Christmas tree every year. Usually this involves the kids and me marching through acres of snowy fields until we can mutually agree on one. That can take hours, especially since we go pretty late in the month and most of the best ones have been turned to stumps.
But this year we walked to the section of Korean firs -- our new favorites – and I saw it. Rising above the rest of the trees like a church steeple was a perfect cross, formed by the branches at the very top. It was beautiful and it was perfect.
We have a wonderful Waterford crystal tree-topper, but this year it’s staying in the box. I decided nature created something better.
2) One tree that’s always perfect is the one in the Baseball Room. Long ago my wife bought me an artificial tree for the basement, the first step in banishing all my baseball ornaments and others she didn’t like from the main family tree.
I have a punch of generic baseball decorations including most of the non-Yankee Hallmark offerings.
It’s tough to get Mets ornaments, but through the magic of the Internet and generosity of relatives – two from my sister this year! – I’ve been able cover the tree.
But this was the first year I could limit the tree to the Mets and New York designs, with just a few others that are just too special to leave in the box.
3) My wife found a neat story about the WPIX Yule Log.
I had no idea there was such a wild history behind the thing. I thought they just set a camera in front of a log each year and called it good.
Here are some cool Yule Log facts from the official Yule Log Web site.
-- The original was filmed in 1966 in black and white at Gracie Mansion, the home of New York’s mayor.
-- The crew removed the protective gate to get a better shot, and a stray spark damaged a $4,000 antique rug.
-- The show was a 17-second loop that ran for several hours.
-- When WPIX wanted to reshoot it in color in 1970, the mayor wouldn’t allow it after the rug incident. So the producers found a mansion in California with a similar fireplace and shot it on a sweltering August afternoon.
-- The second version is a six-minute loop.
-- The station stopped showing it in 1990, with much protesting from the devoted. The station brought it back in 2001, thinking that New Yorkers would want the video version of comfort food after the terrorist attacks.
After reading all this, I was excited to see that WGN was showing a Yule Log on Christmas Eve. Alas, it wasn’t THE Yule Log, but just cheesy gas fireplace. So we changed the channel and turned on our own gas fireplace.
4) We have a new household catchphrase. You have to know that I like battery operated, singing and dancing Christmas decorations. We have a couple that I think are pretty cool, but I might be alone in thinking that.
One of my favorites is a moose with bells on his antlers that shake when he sings “Sleigh Ride.”
The 16-year-old likes to sleep, and doesn’t like the moose, so it’s become the preferred method of waking him up.
Nevertheless, one of my co-workers was alarmed when she overheard me talking to my daughter on the phone, saying “At 10:30, go moose your brother.”
5) We also have new family lore. Church can be dangerous. My son, probably still groggy from his moosing, was an usher at the 8 p.m. Christmas Eve service, so we were there early.
There were wooden poles attached to the end of every third pew, holding a candlestick and a glass cover similar to the glass in the photo. Usually, they’re attached with a thick band in the middle and another at the base. But this year, for some reason, they were attached only at the middle.
We sat in the pew, and I don’t know how it happened, but as soon as I sat down I saw the white pole in the corner of my eye and heard a thunderous crash that echoed throughout the sanctuary, which had only handful of families at the time – several of them with children now shrieking.
Just so you know, there is no way to pass this off on someone else when there isn’t another person sitting within five pews. Also, relatives and friends will quickly disown you.
Someone found the broom and dust pan, and I will say that the debris field was pretty impressive. We were finding glass about four pews away.
The most embarrassing part: After church a friend who came in later was discussing the service and said, “I head some little kid knocked over one of the candles and broke the glass.”
“A big kid, actually,” was the only way to respond.
From the Mets Guy family to you and yours, we wish you a wonderous and joyous holiday season.