Our Dad had been a Chef and it was his job to roast the Christmas Turkey.
His Turkeys were great, they were perfect and he took great pride in his work.
The turkey skin was golden, the bird was always seasoned and stuffed to perfection. I swear to God when he pulled it out of the oven it looked like something you’d see on a magazine cover or cookbook.
When I was 12 I had saved up my money and bought the most adorable little Alaskan Malamute puppy I named Sham.
I should have named him Godzilla because Sham grew up to be the size of a horse.
Not some regular horse.
He was Clydesdale sized.
Sham never liked being in the house when we were cooking because I think it was too warm for him.
But one Christmas me and my brother and sister wouldn’t let him out when he asked because we were having fun with him.
Sham was a gentle giant and we had spent the afternoon trying to dress him up like an elf.
You know kids- our parents went to wrap some gifts for our family members that were going to be coming for Christmas dinner and we decided to power our way through the candy in our Christmas stockings and we forgot Sham was in the house.
My brother went to the kitchen to get some cookies and he came running back into my bedroom.
His face was white and I thought he was going to faint.
He couldn’t speak, he just grabbed me by my hair and pulled me down the hall to the kitchen.
All my brother could do was point
Sham was standing at the counter and he had this huge turkey in his jaws.
I slapped my hand over my mouth to keep from screaming.
My sister was right behind us and we piled on Sham and held him still while I pried his jaws open.
He dropped the turkey on the floor, I grabbed the cooling platter from the counter and dropped the turkey on it.
The platter was made of wood had little spikes on it to hold the turkey in place. I pushed the turkey back on the spikes and burned my hand shoving the stuffing back in because some of it had popped out and oozed on the counter.
Me and my brother lifted the platter and put it back up on the counter.
” What are you kids doing?” my Mom called ” You’re to quiet!”
” We’re playing with Sham.” my sister answered.
I looked down at her in horror. ” Shut up!” I hissed.
I stuffed turkey bits in the little holes from Sham’s fangs and we ran back down the hall and into my bedroom.
” Hide him!” my brother said.
I threw a blanket over Sham and he layed down and we could hear him licking his chops under the blanket.
He fell asleep and the three of us sat there on my bed waiting to die.
The doorbell rang and the rest of our family started to show up for Christmas Dinner.
Then my Dad went into the kitchen to carve the turkey.
Dinner went off without a hitch.
Dad carved the turkey, there were a million side dishes and everyone said it tasted great as usual.
I wouldn’t know- me and my siblings didn’t eat turkey that Christmas.
Come on. It was in our dog’s mouth. It was on the kitchen floor at one point. We wouldn’t have eaten it for more Christmas presents or money.
Besides, every time we lifted a slice to our lips the other one would bark or pant and we’d start laughing so hard we’d start choking.
I don’t know if this was the funniest Christmas memory I have- but it is one of the best.
Now it’s tradition:
I give my dogs their own slices of turkey freshly carved and still a little warm
And I tell them it’s from Sham