I feel a little sad when I listen to the Carpenters. For me, their album, “Christmas Portrait,” has always embodied Christmas Day. It’s as wholesome as a glass of warm milk on the mantle, but also nostalgic, a reminder that the day will soon be over. I get so delirious on punch and powdered sugar in the days leading up to Christmas that when the 25th actually arrives, I
want to cling to the decorative tablecloth and holly garlands and shriek “You can’t take it away from me! Not this year!” feel wistful and unsure of how to best soak up every last bit of the season’s joy. This year, instead of forcing your loved ones to pry the holiday spirit from your cramped white knuckles, why not sneak the last of the thumbprint cookies, curl up in front of the potbellied stove, and let Karen Carpenter’s buttery voice ease you into the new year, which, as all ChristmasFreaks know, truly starts on December 26th. Wishing you a Merry Christmas.