Saturday, December 20, 2008

Big Fun Christmas Post

We've got the house decorated and we won't be deterred from Christmas, no matter how much Auburn University or the neighbors who still have pumpkin decorations might try to dissuade us.

Our new house comes ready-made for Christmas decorating with holly bushes out front and in the backyard.

Tree's been up since just after Thanksgiving. This is our new friend, shaped like a treble clef.

. . . and now click for a guided tour of the tree with some hillbilly music.

The tree was so awesome that Santa Claus showed up early.

Daddy, is Santa really one hundred and fifteen pounds?

And Santa's elfin friend was here; she ate all the cookies.

Santa left behind an awesome banjo for Rusty to open.

Fun Christmas Fact! The original word for this instrument was bandore--but through slaves' pronunciation, the word became "corrupted" and takes the form we now know: banjo. Some historical references from the Oxford English Dictionary:

  • 1774 P. V. Fithian Jrnl. (1900) "In the School-Room, several Negroes & Ben & Harry are playing on a Banjo & dancing."

  • c1790 Dibdin Sea-songs (title), "The Negro and his Banjer."

  • 1801 M. Edgeworth Belinda II. xviii. 7 "‘What is this, mamma?—It is not a guitar, is it?’ ‘No, my dear, it is called a banjore; it is an African instrument, of which the negroes are particularly fond.’"

  • a1845 Negro Melodies (in Bartlett), "Dey dance all night to de ole banjo, Wid a cornstalk fiddle, and a shoe-string bow."

(Stanley, where's my stuffed animal?)

This banjo is called the Goodtimes 2. It has a resonator for extra lovely sound. Pretty good for a surprise present.

Rusty gets on it for one night, having never held a banjo before. He looks at a couple of chords online and has the whole thing figured out. He's amazing, folks. Watch him.

Ever since he started playing, in fact, we've been transported back to the turn of the century. Our digital pictures turned into tintypes.

I, on the other hand, was brought into the technological future by Santa's present, my new Dell Studio Hybrid with a bamboo sleeve.

It's a piece of art, only about the size of a Norton anthology, and it saves the environment by using 70% less power than other desktops. Now I can do whatever I want without hearing the computer grind to a halt because I have two windows open.

And, hey, remember these kids from 2003?

Yeah, they're still just that happy. I love you, Rusty.