Each Christmas I seem to fall upon a theme for my holiday wrapping. One year it was ye ol' fashioned Christmas from the days of yore with brown paper packages tied up with string then bells that 'jingle jangle jingled' the next to shiny (yeah, shiny!), glittery, mesmerizing overdone masterworks another.
But as I was handed an elegant, tastefully wrapped gift this Christmas I saw the theme for Christmas 2010.
I have always loved polka dots. Blame Minnie Mouse or that itsy bitsy, teeny weeny, yellow polka dot bikini but over the years polka dots have converged to showcase two of my most undying passions...
Linda Ronstadt and children's books.
The album Get Closer came out in September 1982 with Linda in that flowing red polka dot dress.
I couldn't wait to get that 33 on my turntable. Linda starts off in guttural rock shouts with the title track and ends the album singing sweet harmonies with Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris.
I was in heaven.
In preparation for her upcoming concert at Radio City Music Hall, to which I had proudly scored tickets, I knew that my own wardrobe must incorporate a polka dot theme.
After all, one never knows if Linda might suddenly stop mid-wail to notice the wide eyed teen crying his eyes out in the third row orchestra (right side) to admire the thought that went behind his fashionable attire.
So, it was off to the mall. I found my perfect shirt at Sears. This long sleeved, maroon slice of paradise with tasteful little white polka dots ended my day long search. Ahhh, it fit amazingly well too on my 5'10", 132lb frame.
The night of the concert, as we took our seats, I could tell my twin brother was so jealous because here I was in a shirt that said I cared while he was in a mere concert tee - from a concert by some other performer.
Linda took the stage in her cheerleader outfit (no polka dots?!) and failed to notice me screaming at her until I finally lost my voice and could yell no more. That night passed and Linda moved on to other fashions (stripes, prom dresses, cub scout uniforms) but for a brief moment polka dots helped us get closer.
Many years later another singer, Madonna, also incorporated polka dots into the mix.
This time it was in the artwork and marketing of her children's book The English Roses.
It is, of course, easy to dismiss this book and its sequel The English Roses: Too Good To Be True as trite nonsense created by a pop star but that would be a mistake.
These engaging tales focus on the friendship between five girls, the English Roses, named Nicole, Amy, Charlotte, Grace and Binah.
In their polka dotted landscape the girls dance, work, dream and learn important life lessons.
Now to figure out how I can wrap all that wisdom in polka dotted Christmas paper.