Thursday, December 2, 2010


I think that I like December best out of all the months. People seem to be in better moods and smile much more. It's like all the kids need to be on Ritalin or something, just to calm them down for a while. I do not remember being so hyped up about Christmas.

Do you remember Christmas catalogs? Yeah, we made list upon list. We would circle just about everything on the toy page. I remember my dad, on lots of occasions, just smiling as he dropped his head to his chest and shook his head and he always had this funny look on his face when it came time to get the Christmas tree and stuff from the attic. He always had good cheer. Lots of eggnog and beer, and mom had her wine and hot toddy's. They seemed to really like going to lots of Christmas parties.

Course, when they went to a party, we kids had full run of the house. Our parents trusted us to behave. And to some degree, I guess we did behave. As soon as the car was out of the driveway, we would crank up the stereo, turn the Christmas tree lights on, and turn out all the other lights in the house. We would then sneak a few beers from Dad's beer bar and pick out a present, then kind of peek under the wrapping paper to see what was there. Except, I think Mom and Dad had figured that one out and would put our gifts in different type of boxes with different labels.

One year I thought I was getting a radio 'cause the box said it was, and when I opened it on Christmas morning it was underwear. Now that's cheating on the parent's part.

One year, one of my sisters thought she was getting makeup 'cause when we peeked several days before the box said makeup and had pictures on it and everything. Know what she got? No, not underwear. She got a sweater.

Our Christmas tree was different also. Lots of people have different colored lights on them. Ours had all blue lights. 'Course I fell in love with it the following year. But one year, to be different, I changed one of the lights. We always had an angel on the top of the tree. That year I changed the light under her dress from blue to red. It stayed that way even after years of us kids not living at home.

And we had REAL tinsel, not that plastic crap that they sell now days. We had the real stuff. The leaded kind. Mom always wanted it put on the tree one strand at a time. We would stand on the back side of the tree and fling several strands at a time. It used to aggravate her to no end, then when she was hollering at us Dad would put on Christmas carols and hand her a glass of wine, and everything was fine.

Christmas Eve: oh, man -- the parents were really running around. I shared a bedroom in the basement with my brother. Mom and Dad had a bedroom downstairs also. My brother and I could hear our parents running and sneaking. Going up and down the stairs, and the sound of packages and boxes being carried upstairs to be placed under the tree, and every now and then the sound of a beer can being set down. They must have made over a million trips over the years, carrying all of those packages.

As I look back on it now, I guess all of us kids kind of drove our folks to drink. It seemed to calm them down. We thought that we were being good! Just a little bit on the wild side now and then. 'Course, they had their wild moments also. But that's another story for another time.

You know, I miss those Christmases and would give just about anything to be able to get us all together again for one more Christmas like that.

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