go ahead sing it - it will make you feel better
WE WISH ME A MERRY CHRISTMAS
WE WISH ME A MERRY CHRISTMAS
WE WISH ME A MERRY CHRISTMAAAASS
AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!
I grew up in Logan, West Virginia. Most of my stories are about my childhood but I write about anything that I feel like writing about. I have been posting some great pictures that I found at my Granny Brennan's house - some of them from the turn of the century
In Florida if you don't decorate for Christmas it will pass you by. However you can get away with decorations that you won't see anywhere else. I had a friend whose Florida style decorations were so good that his house made the cover of the Palm Beach Post one year.
He had plenty of lights of course and the traditional tree and maybe a Santa I think. What set his house apart though were the 2 lighted blue dolphins on the front of his house. There was a big one and a little one. One for Daddy and one for his little girl. They looked like they were leaping out of the water.
What was really special though was the 8 feet long red lobster with blinking green eyes on his roof. It was outstanding. It would look probably look stupid anywhere else but in Florida it set just the right mood.
That was the year that I probably had my best outdoor decorations ever. I had plenty of lights. I had giant melaleuca trees in my front yard. I draped the lights around them so that they looked like Christmas Trees when they were lit up. I think there were 4 or 5 of them.
In my window I had on display my animated Santa and Mrs. Claus, Rudolph was there and my 2 elves , Crip and The Bookkeeper. (The Bookkeeper oversees the naughty or nice list) They were all lighted and moving in unison. People would actually stop by the road to take pictures of my house that year.
My neighbors erected a lighted cross in front of their home which fit in perfectly with my decorations. I loved it. I had several people complain about it saying it looked like a burning KKK cross. I told them that the cross symbolized the true meaning of the season and I was proud that it was there. It is sad that such a symbol can be perverted to symbolize such an awful thing.
We lived in one of those apartment complexes with a pool and laundry facilities and a million kids running around. The only way to tell if it is Christmas in Florida is to decorate, so for the first time in my life I put a tree up on Thanksgiving Day. Apparently that was quite a novelty because soon after I put it up, all the kids in the neighborhood started knocking on my door a hundred times a day wanting to see my tree.
I soon tired of this, especially since in my line of work afternoon naps were a necessity. So I made a deal with them. I told them that if they would all come at the same time everyday (5 o'clock) then I would let them in. To make it extra special I put candy canes on the tree everyday and let each of them have one.
This worked. Every day at 5 0'clock on the dot there would be a knock on my door. A perfect line of children would come in my house and ooohhh and aaahhh over the tree. They would each take a candy cane and then they would go home. This went on until Christmas.
It was fun.
ONE YEAR I BOUGHT MY BROTHER'S FAMILY A FAMILY PRESENT. IT WAS A SANTA CLAUS AND REINDEER DECORATION FOR THE SIDE OF THEIR HOUSE. THE DAY THAT I TOOK IT TO THEM I TOLD THEM THAT NONE OF THEM WERE ALLOWED OUTSIDE AND I SET IT UP FOR THEM.
WHEN THEY CAME OUTSIDE THEY WERE ALL PLEASED EXCEPT FOR MY NIECE. SHE JUST KEPT SAYING OVER AND OVER TO HERSELF, "FAMILY PRESENT, FAMILY PRESENT, WHAT'S A FAMILY PRESENT?"
IT WAS QUITE FUNNY. SHE HAD NO COMPREHENSION THAT I COULD HAVE BOUGHT A PRESENT FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY AND NOT FOR HER INDIVIDUALLY. HER MOM AND I CHUCKLED OVER IT SEVERAL TIMES AFTER THAT.
UNFORTUNATELY MY BROTHER AND I HAD OUR BIG FIGHT SOON AFTER THAT AND LISA SOLD EVERYTHING THAT I HAD EVER GIVEN THEM IN A YARD SALE. IN THE INTEREST OF CHRISTMAS SPIRIT I WON'T COMMENT ANY FURTHER ABOUT THAT.
ONE CHRISTMAS LISA DROPPED BY WITH MY NIECE AND NEPHEW TO GIVE ME MY CHRISTMAS GIFT. BECCA WAS MAKING A WREATH FOR ME OUT OF BAGGIES AND A COAT HANGER, BUT SHE WASN'T QUITE FINISHED WITH IT YET.
AS WE SAT THERE TALKING , SHE WAS TYING THE BAGGIES AROUND THE HANGER AND HER MOM KEPT TELLING HER TO HURRY BECAUSE THEY HAD TO GET HOME. I LEANED OVER AND WHISPERED IN BECCA'S EAR, "THE SLOWER YOU GO , THE LONGER WE GET TO VISIT."
THIS BROUGHT A BIG SMILE TO HER FACE AND SHE VISIBLY SLOWED DOWN TO A SNAILS PACE AND WE HAD A NICE LONG VISIT.
IT WAS A SIMPLE WREATH, BUT IT MEANT THE WORLD TO ME AND I KEPT IT FOR YEARS. I EVEN BOUGHT MORE EXPENSIVE WREATHS AFTER THAT BUT I ALWAYS TOOK THEM DOWN AND HUNG THAT SIMPLE WREATH THAT MY NIECEY WIECEY MADE FOR ME.
IT FELT LIKE HOME.
Every Year when I was a kid we would load up the family and presents in the car and go to both grandparents houses and then the cousin's houses and also various other friends and family. My Pepaw on my dad's side was a mean old alcoholic. Every year he would be so drunk that he couldn't get off the couch and he would cuss us the whole time we were there - unless he was passed out of course. We would all stand there and laugh at him and my mom would explain that the meaning of Christmas was to give to everyone and not expect anything in return. So every year we had a gift for Pepaw and we didn't mind giving it to him even though he never had anything for us because that was what Christmas was about. I continued this tradition into adulthood.
As an adult I would go every year to see Pepaw as I always had and I always had a gift for him. Usually I had 3 cowboy books that I bought at a flea market for him or his favorite present - a block of commodity cheese. The first year I was married I told my husband, "Come on we are goin' to get our Christmas Cussin' ".
His reply was of course, "What in the Hell are you talkin' about?" I explained to him that my Pepaw would be passed out on the couch. I had to take him a present while he would lay there and cuss me the whole time I was there. Bobby did not believe me and as I assured him that this was indeed how it would be, he told me, "there is no way I will stand for that kind of behavior!"
I told him "You can't come with me then, because that is exactly what is going to happen." So we went to Pepaw's trailer and laughed our heads off while he cussed us out.
Years later, I think I was around 27 or so, I went to Pepaw's on Christmas Eve. He had quit drinking the year before because he had a new grand baby that he wanted to be around. He was drunk that day though. He had only promised to be sober for one year and the year was over.
He was telling me about all the marvelous presents that he had bought for this new grandbaby. I pointed out to him that I was 27 years old and he had never bought me a present in my life. When I said that to him, he turned and looked at me for a few seconds and he started laughing. He pulled out his wallet and gave me $20. He said, "Now go down to the liquor store and get us a fifth and we'll drink it together."
Then he said "Come to think of it here is $20 for your brother and $20 for your sister too. Give it to them from me." So that's how I got my first present ever from my Pepaw except it was not near as much fun to get that $20 as it was to get my Christmas Cussin' every year.
I believe that he died when I was 30 years old.
TO WISH SOMEONE
1. Merry Christmas
2. Happy Chanukkah
3. Season's Greetings
4. Happy Kwanzaa
5. Happy Holidays
6. any other seasonal greeting that I can't think of right now
If someone cares enough to wish you a "happy holiday", please don't give them a lecture about how it is a crime to say "merry christmas" nowadays.
If someone wishes you a "merry christmas", please thank them and take these lovely seasonal greetings in the spirit in which they are intended.
None of them was EVER meant to be an insult.