Sunday, December 18, 2011

Most Memorable Christmas

It's true: I'm off work for 2 weeks. That. Is. Glorious.

Keeping with the Christmas spirit of giving, I chose to allow my parents to bless me with the giving of a bedroom for the next week or so. It's nice to be in a heated home AND not have to pay the electric bill!

As you know I blog often about those closest to me, and several times I've written about my dad. While he may be smart {ehhhh}, he also likes to embarrass the soup out of my sister and me. In fact at his 20 year high school reunion they made a little yearbook in which each person in that class was asked to submit a short synopsis of what they had been doing the past {2} decades. My dad actually included, "...and I've spent the last 20 years trying to convince my daughters their dad is not a dork." Yeah, he never really accomplished that goal.

Dad at turkey camp 2011
That's all in fun and games, of course. I love coming to my parents' house whether they pay for the heat or not. It's just fun to sit around with them and talk about memories. My dad can always make me laugh when he talks about his childhood. Man, what a nerd! The only problem with that is I came out just like him.

2 peas in a pod? Dad and I during a snowball fight
So it really tickled my fancy tonight when he and I were sitting in the living room watching the Broncos/Patriots game as my mom (yes, my mom) was down in her deer stand. We were anxiously awaiting her to get back and cook us dinner. And during commercials we were solving the world's political problems when a local TV channel prompted a dialogue about memorable Christmases. I had {2} ideas.

1. I wanted to spend the next week talking about funny (and, uh, not so funny) Christmases.

2. Have my dad tell you about his most memorable Christmas in his own words.

It took me a good 30 seconds or so to convince him why he needed to do this. I think I said, "I have several guys who read my blog and would probably love to read a guy's perspective every once in a while. Plus, I'm pretty sure some of the ladies at the Bank read my blog. What better way to communicate with co-workers?"

Without further my father "in real life"...

Oh, woops. That's not my dad. That's Jim Tressel--his evil twin! HAHA

"Avery and I were watching the local news on television when they ran a little teaser of the local media personalities talking about their most memorable Christmas ever. Avery and I just looked at each other and laughed. She has heard about my most memorable Christmas on several occasions and knew exactly what I was thinking.

We discussed Christmas memories for a few minutes and then she asked, “Dad, would you write a guest blog for me about Christmas?”

I protested that I didn’t want to do it, no one would be interested, and I didn’t even know what a blog was. Avery was undeterred. Avery is also a world class manipulator. I suspect she has no interest in this story, but if she can post a blog without any effort on her part, she is all for it. With this posting, you can also surmise that Avery’s Dad is a sucker.

When I was thirteen years old, I really, really, really wanted a motorcycle for Christmas. I knew the chances were small that I would actually get a motorcycle, but at least I could wish for one. I also knew my parents weren’t exactly rich or actually middle income for that matter. Yah, yah, yah, they loved me and I never went to bed hungry and all that other crud that people always say, but what I really wanted was a motorcycle. I wouldn’t have minded going to bed hungry a few times if that motorcycle could be a red, 175cc, Honda trail bike! I also recognized that neither of my older brothers had ever gotten a motorcycle for Christmas, but hey, they were hooligans and didn’t deserve such a nice gift.

I don’t remember a lot of the other details that Christmas morning, but I vividly remember opening presents. The first thing I noticed, there wasn’t a present under the tree large enough to be a motorcycle. Undeterred, I knew the Christmas package could contain a key and I would know the motorcycle was waiting for me outside. As usual, my brothers and I had several presents under the tree, but most of them would be clothes. You could pretty much tell the small, mushy presents were underwear or socks and the larger mushy presents were jeans or shirts, which pretty much left one present that was a surprise. I tore open that gift and boy did I get a surprise. Inside was a clapping monkey. I was stunned. I was thirteen years old, nearly grown, and I got a clapping monkey? The next time we were at school and the teacher asked the annual question of what we got for Christmas, it was the first time I proudly mentioned the clothes, every item. I may have forgotten to mention the clapping monkey.

Thirty years later, my brothers and I were at our parents’ home for Christmas along with our spouses and children and were reminiscing about Christmases past. My oldest brother brought up the Christmas that I got the clapping monkey. He commented that he couldn’t remember what he got that year, but he was just thankful that he didn’t get a clapping monkey. My other brother and I chimed in talking about that gift and how thankful he was and how appalled I was. My parents were surprised to find out our opinions of that gift. They actually thought I liked it because we played with it for years. We gently reminded them that THEY were the ones that played with it.

Dad and his dad during a recent elk sighting--trying to forget the ever famous clapping monkey
I did learn a valuable lesson from that Christmas gift long ago. Every gift I’ve received since then, I’ve appreciated; whether it’s clothes, a really cool electronic gadget, or a bag of switches. Anything (or nothing at all) is better than a clapping monkey. But I have to admit it was memorable. I received a lot of gifts as a kid growing up and I’ve forgotten most of them, but I will always remember that gift and that Christmas with my family. We lost my Mom last year after a long, hard battle with Alzheimer’s. My Mom wasn’t a lot of fun the last few years due to that terrible disease, but I’ll remember her from the Christmases of when I was a kid and when her grandkids were little. I wouldn’t have minded seeing another clapping monkey this year…but I would hope it was for my brothers."

Peace out and Merry Christmas...XOXO

1 comment:

  1. I'm off until the 10th! Is it wonderful or what?! Enjoy your break!