One the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me-
When I was 12 years old my parents probably gave me the coolest present you could give a kid on the verge of turning 13.
They gave me a stereo for Christmas- not only did they give me a really neat stereo, they also gave me about 6 albums which were big at the time- Dreamboat Annie by Heart, Boston’s first album, Frampton Comes Alive, The Runaways first album and Arrival by Abba and Fly Like An Eagle by Steve Miller.
I had asked for a couple but the rest were surprises, I mean they were cool. Coming from my Dad was a big fan of The Kingston Trio, I was surprised that he knew who Boston and Steve Miller were. Later I found out that my Dad had asked some of the kitchen staff at the restaurant he was working at for some ideas for records that were popular and that’s how I ended up with the Frampton, Heart and Steve Miller album.
So what was it like to open these fabulous dream gifts on Christmas morning?
I gave an Oscar winning performance. I went out of my mind with joy over that cool stereo and those records under our tree. My parents scored big that year in my book.
But like I said- it was an Oscar winning performance because my little brother had found the key to the room where my Dad was stashing our presents and he peeked into each and every gift.
Then when we were watching TV about a week before Christmas he told me and our little sister what our ‘big presents’ were.
I was thrilled. I couldn’t believe I was getting such neat gifts. Then it dawned on me that my brother had spoiled Christmas so I got up from the couch and I threw a punch at him- but that little sucker was fast so he turned away and I caught him on his shoulder blade.
I got into trouble for punching my brother- and what made it worse was that I had hit him in the back.
When my Mom asked why I hit my brother I said something like, he was a jerk or I felt like hitting him ‘ that’s why’ and I got grounded right then and there over Christmas vacation.
I remember my brother laughing at me when I got sent to my room and to make it worse he laughed at me on Christmas morning too when I started to open my new records.
So when he went outside to ride his new bike, I stole all of his Christmas candy and dumped it in the toilet.
The sad ending for me was that after my Dad went to use the toilet and saw that candy I was restricted for a week longer, but who cares?
I spent it in my room with my new record player and a pile of gifts that my little toad of brother couldn’t peek at because my Dad had hid them- wait for it, in my brother’s room on the top shelf of his closet that he never used because it was to tall for him to reach.
If I’ve said it once here I’ve said it a million times.
My family wasn’t perfect but damn, we sure were entertaining.
As you may well know, I looked forward to visits from Krampus with more excitement then I ever did with visits from you.
But you did give me that cool bike, the Hula Hoop and the musical Snoopy that I loved and adored until he literally fell to bits after a good ten or so years of constant trips, hugs and trips into sinks full of soapy water because as my parents would have told you I was a scroungy dirty little thing and poor Snoopy suffered for that.
On the other hand I pretty much hated Christmas for most of my life so when I was threatened with you not visiting me if I was bad, what can I say? I wasn’t exactly shaking in my boots.
My Grandfather had this saying he used when people copped out of situations against their core beliefs to save their bacon. I know the original definition was a religious one, but I’m sure I’ve mentioned it a few times but my Dad’s family weren’t religious by any stretch of the imagination.
He used to say in these times when people compromised their core beliefs, ” There are no atheists in the foxholes”
Well Crimson One- I still have my doubts about a Jolly figure being used to threaten little kids into their best behavior and that’s one I could have done without as a kid because for me the world was grim enough.
However, to quote the spirit in which my Grandpa Bert used the saying, ” there are no atheists in the Foxholes”
So hello. May I introduce myself? I am the atheist in the foxhole.
Photo N. Casey
My three year old Granddaughter loves you, she’s excited about your visit and when she saw you today that smile on her face was real. It we.asn’t her camera smile- which is beautiful, but it’s for the camera.
So I will make you a deal.
I will tell her good stories about you and your visits if you swear on Donner and Vixen’s heads that you will make her smile like that for the rest of her life when she thinks about Christmas,
To seal the deal please accept my peace offering of shortbread, assorted chocolates and sherry which can be found on my writing desk on Christmas eve.
Anita Marie Godfrey
Me age 6 with my little sister, my brother and our dog
Remember fun? I used to have it. Especially during the Christmas season- but that came to a screeching halt in2019-2020.
But let’s not dwell on that right now. Let’s think about the fun that can be had this year after the presents have been opened and the Christmas dinner has merrily scarfed down.
I’m thinking about games for after dinner because when I was little my family used to play parlor games after we ate- I loved playing parlor games. When I was a kid my Great Aunt had a wine cellar and my Dad’s family loved their sherry and bourbon and their wine so watching the adults playing word games or charades was a riot.
Sad to say the wine cellar is no more and watching your family getting bombed for sport while watching them trying to remember what an adjective is or act out a film without spilling their drink from the comfort of an antique chair is no longer considered PC so-
My family bought one of those bingo sets and we play games for prizes- which we all contribute and if you want to know the truth we really go all out on those prizes.
My nieces love board games, which surprises me that anyone under the age of 40 plays board games so sometimes we play those but I still love parlor games so I’ve dug some up and listed them here and I’ve added some Christmas Flash Mob performances because – well.
Why not?It’s nice to remember that the world used to be a fun place and who knows,
maybe one day it will be again.
THE MINISTER’S CAT
The Minister’s Cat follows the formula of many classic word games: Players sit around in a circle and take turns describing the minister’s cat with a different adjective. Each adjective must start with a different letter of the alphabet, starting with “A.” For example, the first player might say, “The minister’s cat is an angry cat,” followed next by, “The minister’s cat is a brilliant cat.” Players are eliminated if they repeat an adjective or fail to come up with a new one.
If you’ve ever made up a story one piece at a time as a group, you know the basic concept of Consequences. This version can lead to even more hilarious, and often horrifying results. The first player kicks things off by drawing a head (whether human, animal, or mythical) on a sheet of paper, then folds it over to cover the creation. After passing it on, the next player draws a torso, the next legs, and so on. Once the sheet has made the rounds, players can unfold it to marvel at whatever monstrosity they created as a team.
A round of Forfeits is a fast way to loosen up your party guests. To start, everyone forfeits an item of value (keys, phone, wallet, etc.). A player selected to be the “auctioneer” stands at the front of the room and presents each item as if it were to sale. Players can get their item back for a price—the auctioneer might tell them to sing a song, share a secret, or do 100 jumping jacks. In the smartphone era the stakes of this Victorian parlor game are even higher.
I loved this clip because you got to have a sense of what it was like to be in the Flash Mob- plus the participants were cute and dressed festively AND this clip is from 2021 so that made it even more special to me.