Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Christmas in Dixie

It's snowin' in the pines....

Not really. It is supposed to snow tomorrow, but I've had that song stuck in my head since last week. That one and Sweet Home Alabama and yes I know it wins the prize for the most redneck song ever written. But tell me this. Do you know anyone who, when the very first four or five guitar notes of Sweet Home Alabama come on, does NOT say "Turn it up" along with Ronnie Van Zant?

I don't.

Nor do I know anyone who doesn't know Christmas in
Dixie. What's it doing in Memphis? Maybe Graceland's all in lights.

What about New York City?
By now there's snow on the ground.

It's windy and the kids are out of school.

What's goin' on in Motown?

It's magic and the city's on the move.

It's a warm, inviting, cozy song. Just like when you hear the first four notes of Sweet Home Alabama, you know for the next three and a half minutes Lynyrd Skynyrd is going to be right there with you, dependably twanging out the lines and guitar licks you know by heart and have for years. Who plays the air guitar when it comes on?

Mee, mee, meeeee!

Unabashedly. No shame. Riiiiiight out in the open, baby. If my kids are around when it comes on they scatter. Fast. So Mom doesn't embarrass them by playing her air guitar. They know I carry it everywhere with me.

And when Randy and Jeff Owens come on singing to me about Christmas in Dixie, there's no one that sings that last, sweet line louder than me.

And in Atlanta, Georgia, there's peace on earth tonight. For that one, my kids don't scatter. They sing it with me. At the top of their lungs.

It's special being Southern, no doubt. You see the quote "I'm American by choice and Southern by the grace of God", and you might think it's just a cute lil' catch phrase to put on a button or a bumper sticker, but no. Nnnnnnnnewp. We Southerners really feel it. I know other folks are proud of where they live or where they're from, but I don't ever hear the pride, the love, and the thankfulness come through like I do when I hear a Southerner talk about life in the South, or explain how to fry (or eat) fried chicken, how to make buttermilk biscuits, how to sit on the porch with a tall glass of iced tea, how to entertain while making guests feel like family, how to interpret Southern speak, or most importantly, how to speak gracefully and tactfully with a lovely, gentle drawl while shooting daggers from your eyeballs into someone's soul. It's the Southern feminine version of The Hairy Eyeball. The Stinkeye. Only we do it with a wink, a smile and a tilt of the head. A Southern woman must know this, as well as the backwards sympathetic comment "Bless your heart."

"Oh, she's gained at least twenty pounds. Bless her heart."

Anyway. Here I sit rambling on about being Southern when I need to be cooking dinner and helping J-rod with his homework. He's got a ton, bless his heart.

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