Heart News - December 1983 - A Letter from Lou Wilson - to Ann & Nancy and the fans...
Heart news: Lou Wilson: Re: Wilson Christmas Traditions
13 December, 1983
Dear Ann, Dear Nancy… Dear Ones,
There you are on the road with HEART TOUR ’83 – ’84. And here we are, John and Lou, counting the concerts until you come home for Christmas.
HEART NEWS has asked me for a word-picture of our Christmas traditions. I brought out the two big Christmas boxes for mood and inspiration, and there it is again. Telling of our many, many-splendored Christmases.
The tattered, holly-haired doll, and the other (ugly) one we are going to throw away each year and don’t. The Swedish candle chimes. The odd collection of the mismatched, and much loved and worn miniature animals, which comes every year to see the baby Jesus at our crèche (nativity scene). I recall those times when you two took turns rearranging the crèche to make your adolescent social and political statements. Next, the elf hat and BIG plastic ears. And then that collector’s item from reel-to-reel days, the tape of carols which runs out just short of the last crescendo finale.
Among the green and red felt stockings are those with dog names. E.O., MOFFA, WOMBIE, SHUIE, PILOT, BLUE, CEENA, BUDDY, ARROW, TRUMPET, AMIGO, ZOOEY. Some now in doggie heaven. The rest eager for this Christmas’ chew bones. Remember the year we costumed the dogs and filmed them as a complete manger scene? And another with puppies eating candy canes from low tree branches? One Christmas came when we had so many of our (and other’s) dogs, each with a Christmas ribbon, bow, that there was little space left for people. And later, a year when Nancy gave us the pick of Wombie’s litter of puppies, and we named him Pilot from that track on “Bebe le Strange”.
Our Christmas trees could never be chosen for the House Beautiful Award. They start off all right but as we reach deeper into the big boxes, all of those beloved, child-made things and pieces of our history are added and lo, Christmas comes once more.
The tree I remember most vividly is the one Nancy chose and somehow carried home all over her little Toyota. The tree was enormous and rather round. It appeared to be a small forest coming down the street with Nancy peeking through the branches to steer it into our driveway.
Carols. The whole family singing carols for weeks before the big day. Ann, you always sang “Joyce To The World” and complained because “Teddy Bears’ Picnic” wasn’t considered a Christmas carol. Nancy, do you remember when you were first learning to talk and to sing you thought it was “Weigh in a Manager”.
I love our special Christmas Eves. Visits from our own personal “Old Santa” and special others. The reindeer hoof prints pasted everywhere. Ann conducting excerpts from Handel’s Messiah played with love on many humazoo kazoos. The youngest ones choosing “the-gift-I-get-to-open-tonight”. The midnight candlelight service of Lessons and Carols at our church. The late fireplace-talking and the sweet guitars.
And the presents. All your years of dreaming of real horses and receiving horse statues instead. Ann’s talking doll, “Noma” and Noma’s replacement, Briane”, when she lost her voice. Nancy’s “Roscoes” the stuffed horse pillow and “Mogan”, the furry blue dog. The first guitars and flutes under the tree, and later the finer ones you both excelled. Ann’s first leather jacket. The year you two brought the beautiful French blue coat to me from Paris on your first European tour.
Christmas past. I smile as I think of those years we lived in Taiwan and we built and painted a packing-box fireplace in order to have Christmas, American style. And Nancy’s third Christmas, when she dressed as a shepherd for the Nursery School play, she smiled knowingly at the audience as she tripped one of the Wise Men with her little shepherd’s crook.
Remember the “Camelot Christmas” at the church? And the year we took Christmas to the beach house and stayed snowbound there afterward?
And Three years ago, so soon after John Lennon’s death, when shared our mourning for his loss and celebrated his having lived and written his music and message in our time.
Christmas present. Pieces of last year’s “Currier and Ives” farm Christmas at Nancy’s are still in the big box. A year from now there will be things from this year’s “Dickens Christmas” at Ann’s.
Christmas yet to come will always be our traditional moveable feast of love where people are more important than the presents. I believe we have learned that God has already “blessed us every one”.
So let the merriment begin!
With so much love,