Saturday, December 11, 2010
I was in the hospital. I was five years old. I was getting my tonsils taken out.
I can remember my dad running around the hospital looking for quarters to put in the tv because that is how it ran in those days in the hospital. (of course that is the recollection of a 5 year old so take it for what it's worth)
My mom made sure I got all the ice cream and milkshakes that I could want to eat. The doctor okayed it. Apparently those things make firey tonsils feel better.
I guess Rudolph made me feel better too. It's a good thing because I can also remember that it took 3 or 4 nurses to hold me down to give me a shot. I remember being in the operating room and them holding me down while I was screaming because they were putting a basket covered with cotton over my face (chloroform?)
After it was over I ate french fries and more milkshakes and when I went home I got to hang my "shotter" on the Christmas Tree.
Friday, December 10, 2010
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Everybody has their wish list of must have presents that they just have to have for Christmas. Over the years I have gotten most of those presents if not all of them. Looking back I can only recall what a couple of those make it or break it presents were that I just had to have or it would not be a good Christmas.
Here is what I do remember:
1. My 4 year old nephew, Arnie, flinging the mountain of tissue paper aside sheet by sheet that I had piled on top of the Tickle Me Elmo doll that only I could find.
2. Becca and Arnie laughing with glee when they opened the Furbees that only, once again, Aunt Pam could find when nobody else could.
3. My ex-husband, Bobby's shy, quiet smile because once again I had got him something he really wanted when he didn't even know it himself.
4. Katie, my stepdaughter, bursting into tears because she got the computer she had been dreaming of. (this was in the days even before the internet)
5. Kandi, my other stepdaughter, squealing with glee over the boom box and the awesome cassette collection that she never imagined in a million years she would get. (back in the Thriller days when she was positive she would marry Michael Jackson)
6. The pretty porcelain ornaments the my mom bought me for my first married Christmas - I still have ALL of them.
7. Katie and Kandi getting 8 cabbage patch dolls that first year they came out when there was a feeding frenzy over them in the stores. (twins from us, 2 from their mom, 2 from their stepfather's parents and 2 from my parents)
8. The present I wrapped for Becca that was like something out of Dr. Seuss. It was red and green striped with purple velvet bows all over it. it suited her personality perfectly and she loved it.
9. I wrapped a present for my mom once that was so exquisite that she didn't unwrap it until spring. She just sat the box in her living room and stared at it for three months.
None of those moments have anything to do with me getting one of those must have presents!
...I was on the elevator with a little girl and her grandmother. I asked her if she was all excited about Christmas. She took one look at me and started to beam that huge grin that all kids get when they see me at Christmas time. When I got off the elevator she actually tried to follow me.
Yet another little tyke recognized me as Mrs. Claus! I wasn't even wearing my hat or Mrs. Santa name tag this time. KIDS KNOW MAGIC WHEN THEY SEE IT!
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
...so, one Saturday the whole family loaded up and my dad rented a U-Haul and paid 2 guys to follow us to the Christmas Tree Farm. He let us run around and pick out which trees we wanted to cut down. He was buying a hundred of them. We romped and played all day while the men cut the trees.
It was at the end of the afternoon and my dad and I cut across a field to go to the car. We were almost to the fence (and it's a good thing we were) when a bull came charging out of the barn right at us. We sprinted to the fence and I remember I tore my pants on the barbed wire as I went over the it. We barely got out in time! A charging bull is something I never want to see coming at me in my lifetime again.
Daddy and I laughed about it for a long time after that. My mom, was of course, furious that he would endanger my life that way. She didn't seem to understand that we didn't know there was a bull in that barn.
It has always been my contention that decorations make the tree. It doesn't matter what flaw the tree may have, too short or too skinny or even a bald spot here and there, it can be fixed with the proper decorations and or the perfect placement of the tree. Once the tree is decorated it is always beautiful. Some people do the perfectly structured trees with matching colors or a theme tree that can come in as many variations as there are ideas. I like them all.
I have to admit though that one time I had a tree that nothing could fix. I was living on my hundred acres and I had the bright idea of going out and cutting my own tree from my property. I knew exactly which tree I wanted to cut down. It was in the middle of a field, in a tiny cluster of trees which were in my way when I mowed the field. I was ready to kill two birds with one stone as it were - cut the tree down and clear the field so I had a clear shot during mowing season. The perfect solution.
So I marched out of my house with a hand saw to cut down that tree. No power saw for me, by golly, I was going to do this the old-fashioned way! (not to mention the fact that I am a natural born klutz and I KNOW my limitations) There was a light snow on the ground so I slipped and slid all the way up the hill to the tree. I sawed at that tree for probably a half an hour before it fell with a gratifying thud. I felt like such a lumberjack.
I dragged it to the house and I put it up in the corner of my living room. I started to turn it to find the "good side". To my dismay I found there was no "good side". So I decorated it with my lovely decorations that I had saved from year to year and had always had a gorgeous tree. Not this time. My tree was not beautiful, it was not even pretty, It looked pitiful.
It looked so pitiful that I went back outside to that little grove of trees and cut down another tree. I took it into the house and I took off all the decorations and I put the two trees together and I wired myself one big, giant tree! It still didn't help. Even after I decorated my makeshift tree it was still the ugliest monstrosity that I have ever had the pleasure(?) of putting into my house at Christmastime.
Every year I enjoy my ritualistic burning of the Christmas tree when I take it down. The burning was particularly enjoyable that year. And that is the story of my Charlie Brown Christmas Tree.
Monday, December 6, 2010
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 the homes of 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.
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're goin' to get our Christmas Cussin' ".
His reply was, "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 on that couch 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 grandbaby 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 lifetime. 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.
(my husband and I)
I have been playing the role of Mrs. Claus for several years at work now. I have several Santa hats and I always wear Christmasy colors. This year I even have a pink santa hat that goes with all of my pink clothes! To top it off my name tag even says "Mrs. Claus".
It is a pretty special feeling when strange children look at you this way. A few come up and ask me if I am really Mrs. Claus. I always point out to them that it is illegal for me to wear a name tag that has someone else's name one it. This seals the deal for them. I ask them if they want me to deliver a message to Santa for them, and they always do. Their parents just stand there and chuckle.
Several times last year I looked up to see small children beaming at me. They are usually around 4 or 5 years old and they do not know me. I just happen to look up and I see a little face with eyes glowing and a big ole smile. One little girl walked up while I was helping another customer. She tugged at my shirt and proceeded to tell me what she wanted for Christmas and about her early birthday presents (turns out her birthday was on the 22nd.) Happily the customer I was helping waited until this little girl was finished talking to me to get what she needed.
My friend Gletta is one of those people who don't believe in telling kids there is a Santa Claus. Last year her little granddaughter was in the store and started to make fun of me and was yelling that there was "no such thing as Santa Claus". I of course objected. Gletta actually told her granddaughter that if there was anybody in the world who really believed in Santa Claus then it was me.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
1. Bride Wars cute
3. She's the Man It had it's moments
4. Lionheart Classic Van Damme
5. Surviving Christmas some funny stuff!
6. Nothing like the Holidays another disfunctional family comedy
7. Eclipse How they took the best book of the series and ruined it is beyond me!