The waiting is the hardest part...” a popular Tom Petty verse.
My son, Charlie at 8 years old took this verse to be his anthem. He played it over, and over. He begged to hear it. The bit’s about adult love did not interest him. Just thoughts of time intrigued him. He reminded me that as a child, our perception of time and waiting feels like eternity.
As a child, I too waited. I waited for Christmas, the songs, and smells of what’s familiar.
In October of 1980, I was 6 years old when my mom opened Nandy’s Candy. Christmas was forever changed that year. Going forward, there would be no more family trips to far-away grandparents. Our traditional Christmas became a season of candy making.
My Christmas memories are much like todays. December days are filled with overwhelming smells and sounds: the strong scent of mint, vanilla as it mixes into the divinity and the always present smell of chocolate. I hear laughter, chit-chat of employees, the bell, my mom greeting customers, the hum of the machines, and Christmas songs on the radio. In the early eighties at age 8, I too was captivated by a Christmas song. It became the candy store holiday anthem of sorts. I played it so much that I wore out the rewind button on my pink jam-box. We still play it at the store today.
“I’ll be fine and dandy
Lord it’s like a hard candy Christmas
I’m barely getting through tomorrow
But still I won’t let sorrow bring me way down.
“cause I’ll be fine…”
Dolly Parton’s, Hard Candy Christmas is my waiting song for the season.
It’s non-traditional, but functional.
We are all waiting!
When I slide into the wooden pew on Christmas Eve. I smell the incense, hear the trumpets, and stand to sing, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.” I feel a change.