m e r r y c h r i s t m a s
Last night I thought a lot about Christmases past.
I've had many lovely Christmases.
I grew up in a large white cape cod style house built in 1939.
This is why I've always loved old houses.
In my opinion nothing beats a white house at Christmas.
Just look at that beauty above.
My own childhood home sits on Main Street in my hometown of Blanchard, Oklahoma.
A large tree with white lights was always in the front window and the white posts of the porch
were wrapped in wide red ribbon.
We referred to our house as "Holiday Inn" during the weeks up to Christmas.
A life size Santa sat on the front porch that Mom made after we were inspired by
a small Santa we'd seen at a craft show.
Our Santa wore a pair of my Dad's old boots.
We were always big on decorating for the holidays inside.
But each year when I was growing up I begged my father to put lights on the house and he never would.
But when I was 28, I moved away from Oklahoma to Georgia.
I called home that Thanksgiving wishing I was home with family.
I spoke to my Mother in the evening of that day and she said that she was so irritated with my father.
She said he'd been out working in the yard that morning and when called in for dinner, he barely ate
after she'd slaved away for hours on Thanksgiving dinner.
She wasn't speaking to him, she was so upset. And she said..."he is saying nothing...he's avoiding me!"
When Christmas came...
My Dad picked me up at the airport and drove me to my hometown. As we neared my house...
I could see christmas lights lining the edge of the roof. The whole house had lights around it!
I was so thrilled that my Dad had finally put lights on the house.
It only took me moving hundreds of miles away and him wanting to please me when I got home.
It was then that he told me that Thanksgiving morning,
he'd been outside working on putting the lights on the roof when he fell off the roof
and into the back of his pick up truck.
He said it was pure luck that he fell into the truck and not to the ground.
He laid there with the wind knocked out of him, wondering if he was ok.
After awhile he decided nothing was broken just as my Mom called him in to dinner.
He didn't want her to know he'd fallen. So he just came in and ate what he could to keep her happy.
But he felt nauseous and hurt all over.
So he ate a little and retired to the sofa.
Mom didn't know till years later that he'd fallen off the roof that morning.
She had been so mad at him and he was just trying to make sure she didn't worry.
And he couldn't tell me because he was keeping the lights a surpise.
After that, my Dad made a tradition of putting lights on the house so that they would be there when
I came home.
He would also line the yard and driveway with yellow solo cups that he turned upside down over large white lights.
It looked junky during the day but at night it looked like small lanterns lining our yard and drive.
Dad took a lot of pride in how nice they looked at night.
I remember one Christmas night, the whole family including uncles, aunts and cousins were all
over at my Grandmother's house which was across the street from my parent's house.
As one of my uncles gazed out the window...he saw a truck swerve purposefully into my parents yard
and take out about three of the plastic cups.
He yelled, "Hey! Someone just ran over your lights, Jim!" (my Dad was named Jim)
Immediately, all four brothers (my dad and uncles) were flying out of the house and
off the porch. Dad said, "Jump in the truck and my uncle yelled...get your gun!"
This seemed completely ridiculous to us in the house.
"Get your gun?"
Us women realized it was most likely teenagers just having a little fun.
They didn't know those cups were my father's pride and joy.
I remember my Mom saying, "That's a bit of an over-reaction, isn't it?"
We all watched out the window as we saw my Dad and Uncles go by several times
in the pickup looking for the perpetrators.
Thank goodness they didn't find them.
The next day my father talked about the incident at the coffee shop and he and his friends
deduced the guilty parties based on the description of the truck.
A visit was paid to the father of the driver of the truck.
Yes, a high school boy who didn't see the harm in running over a few of my Dad's prized lights.
He promised to never do it again and the whole matter was dropped.
But I'll never forget the Christmas that I heard the words,
"Get Your Gun!"
Ah... family Christmas memories.
I hope you are making wonderful Christmas memories with your own family
and I hope they do not involve fire arms.