The Friday Morning Listen: The Vince Guaraldi Trio – A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

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So I’m drivin’ home the night before last and as I get a few miles away from the house I notice that people are flashing their high beams at me. This has happened occasionally but mostly the cause is that I’ve been slow to the high beams lever. Oops! Sorry about that! I look down and there is no blue high beam light on the instrument panel. Just to make sure, I flick on the highs and quickly shut them off. The road in front of the car looks ominously dark. I’ve got no low beams. With only a half mile to go, I leave the high beams on and piss off the next twenty cars I pass.

Before work yesterday I checked the low beam fuses and both of them appear to be intact. Since I had a low beam replaced not too long ago, I’m thinking it’s probably not the lights but the relay. I’ll figure that out this weekend. In the meantime, I now have an excuse to leave work early. Fine by me, because the rest of me is almost out of gas.

This is nothing new. I’ve described it before as the “falling into the end of the year” syndrome. It’s why if at all possible, I take vacation for the entire week of Christmas through New Years. It’s time to recharge. Time to read more. Time to have the family over. Time to watch “A Christmas Story” at least four times.

I suppose I should attempt to summon my inner Hallmark copy writer and say something warm and fuzzy about the holidays. Hopefully, it’ll rhyme. The problem is that my inner Hallmark card writer never had a whole lot of enthusiasm for his task. Also, I hate rhyme schemes. It’s just as well. Chances are that I couldn’t resist cracking wise about the “Holiday Tree,” inflaming the WarOnChristmas™ people. But maybe in a pseudo-Haiku format?

A Christmas tree?
There are no pines in the desert
Pagans invented tinsel

OK, so I had more fun with that than expected. But I’ll have more fun this week than I expect. Even if I can’t drive after dark.

Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski is a writer and music obsessive based out of the woods of central New Hampshire. A past contributor to, and Salon, he originated several of our weekly features including the Friday Morning Listen, (Cross the) Heartland, WTF! Wednesday, and Sparks Fly on E Street. Follow him on Twitter: @msaleski. Contact Something Else! at
Mark Saleski
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  • Mark Saleski

    you’ll know somebody is hooked on it when they purchase a Leg Lamp (yes, i bought somebody a Leg Lamp).

  • Margaret Reyes Dempsey

    I’ve been “falling into the end of the year” for a year, it seems.

    We watched A Christmas Story the other night with my son. Believe it or not, I had never seen it before. Really enjoyed it and so did he.