I say, MYGA! Well, why not? It seems everybody is making something again and stamping it on baseball caps and T-shirts. Too bad the idea has to remind us of Lord Cheeto and his MAGA BS.
Moving on. With Thanksgiving behind us and perhaps carrying a few extra pounds, it is time for Jolly Ol’ St. Nick and Christmas. And just like the song says, folks are busy making the Yuletide gay.
Some songs tell us it is the “most wonderful time of the year” and others encourage us to “have a merry little Christmas.” There are so many songs that play during this season and each one opens a huge box of memories stored in our hearts and minds. Me, I like the incomparable Dinah Washington’s version of “Ol’ Santa” and maybe, if I want to get sentimental and sad (wine helps), I listen to Jim Reeves’ “An Old Christmas Card”.
The LGBTQ community loves Christmas with all the decorating, cooking, gatherings, and fabulous Christmas drag shows. “Santa Baby” can be heard echoing from jukeboxes and drag stages around a gayly decorated Galvetraz. It truly is the most wonderful time of the queer year (or at least runner-up to Halloween).
With all the things happening in the world and in politics, it might be a little hard to “chill” and really enjoy Christmas and New Year’s. Over the years, I have learned it is good to take some time away — maybe a small road trip or a journey to a place where once great comfort and joy were found. I love to go to the country, especially with friends and enjoy a crackling fire, good conversation, and storytelling.
For those not into the whole Judeo-Christian thing, it can still be a special time to gather, celebrate, and make memories. If you are into baking, this holiday offers a great opportunity to make some special cookies and maybe throw a decorating party with friends.
Getting away to some distant place, especially with a special friend, can be relaxing and rewarding, just taking some time to read a good book, contemplate the past year, and make plans for the new one. Being a firebug, I love to be near a cracking and popping fire, staring into the flames and do some deep thinking.
On a recent Thanksgiving trip, I stayed with a friend in a grand old plantation house. There was a fireplace in my bedroom and, with temps in the high 30s, it made for a somewhat romantic and excellent sleeping experience.
Though wood-burning fireplaces can be a lot of work (cleaning, chopping wood, etc.), they are a tremendous link to the past. There was a time when most homes were heated by fire and folks gathered around the hearth to enjoy the flames and warmth. It is pretty amazing to sit or sleep near a fire, feeling the heat on heavy eyelids and dozing to the flame patterns dancing on the ceiling and walls of the room. If you “bank” the fire correctly, with the right log, you will waken to embers that can quickly come alive with the addition of fresh wood.
Along the upper Texas Gulf Coast, there are no frozen ponds or streams on which to skate and sip hot chocolate, and certainly no one-horse sleigh rides, but there is still plenty to do and experience both inside and out of doors.
Galveston is alive this time of year, especially the Strand area with festive holiday decorations, carolers in Sangerfest Park and gayly decorated storefronts along the Strand, Market and Post Office Streets. Red bows hang from flickering gas lamps and lighted strings of garland and ornaments overhead and cross from one side of the street to the other. Strolling along the city sidewalks, one is reminded of another song and lyric: “In the air, there’s a feeling of Christmas.”
Sometimes you don’t have to travel far to make your holiday gay. With so much going on around Galveston Island there are plenty of options to make the holidays great.
Around the gay community (yes, “gay” — not to offend anyone, but they just keep adding letters to the LGBTQ ABC’s. Henceforth, when describing the community, I will simply use the old word “gay”. After all, if it truly is a community, it includes all: gay, straight, lesbian, trans, bi- and every combination thereof), the clubs are beautifully decorated this time of year with lighted trees, ornaments, and tons of tinsel draped on everything.
Rumors Beach Bar is about as festive as one can get and 23rd Street Station Piano Bar is adorned with hanging balls (no pun intended), a gorgeous flocked Christmas tree and lots of festive lights.
Meanwhile, at Robert’s Lafitte, Christmas is in like Flynn with lights everywhere. Garlands and ornaments adorn every space. There is always something magical about Lafitte’s at Christmas time.
All the clubs are staffed with attractive elves just waiting to make your visit exceptional. Check ’em out.
Whether you’re sitting by a fire and reflecting, gathering with friends, reading a good book, or enjoying a Christmas tree lighting a darkened room, whatever you do this Christmas and New Year’s, make it special and full of love.
Lastly, if you are with me, remember to put another log on the fire. It’s gonna be a long night!