Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Happy December!

Here we are, 24 days away from the big day now! Christmas is coming whether one wants it or not.

Thinking back, I can't say that I have a favorite Christmas. As an adult, the two that stand out are the first two I spent with my husband. The first we were dating; the second we were married.

His first Christmas present to me was a pair of cowboy boots. They were the rage at the time. I gave him a sweater jacket.

I don't remember the presents of our second Christmas, only the feeling of waking up to my own tree in my own home with my husband of just over a month in the room beside me. Then it became a whirlwind as we visited my parents and then his, then grandparents, too, all in the same day. We ended that as soon as possible, visiting my family on Christmas Eve and his on Christmas Day. Too much running around for me all in one day.

My childhood Christmas memories tend toward watching. Watching my brother open his presents. Watching the interactions between my parents. Watching the tree, the lights twinkling. Watching the pile of presents grow. Watching my mother wrap things. Watching to see where the toys that "Santa" would place under the tree might be hidden. (I did not always find them.)

My brother and I played with some of the decorations and having great adventures with them. We had an ornament we called Santa Mouse that my brother and I played with, using him as the hero, dashing off in his sleigh to solve whatever we could come up with. Saving Barbie from Johnny West or delivering those little green Army men to the poor underdeveloped Ken to shore up his self-esteem. Whatever.

My brother always received the better presents - the guy things. Electric trains, Lego sets, Erector sets. I received girl stuff - dolls, clothes, makeup mirrors. I am not and never have been a girly girl, so I always coveted my brother's more manly gains. Fortunately, when we were alone and not bothered by other children, we generally played well together although of course there were lots of brother and sister arguments. Young children always have them.

I remember snow at Christmas, something we seldom see now. I remember sleds and toboggans that we used to race down the hill. I remember riding like lightning down a hillside and crashing into a frozen cow pile and nearly knocking myself silly when I hit it, and the laughter from my companions, who at that time would have been my brother and the Stewarts and maybe a couple of Lees.

My father once brought home these snow pans. They were an invention and he wanted to see how they worked. He gave them to my brother and I and told us to go play with them. He watched while we fell down and sat on them and generally could not figure out how to use them. He decided not to invest in them, I think. In my mind, they were the precursor to the snow board. They apparently weren't, but I wonder if that man ever took his invention elsewhere and did something with it. I don't know. But I'm afraid one could not have found a klutzier person to test such a thing on than I. I generally spent more time on the ground than I ever did on things like skates or skies.

The first day of December arrives with bleak gray. I don't know how much of that is cloud and how much is smoke from a major fire on Pilot Mountain in North Carolina.  It appears to be a combination of both. It is not overly chilly, though. It's just cold enough to let everyone know that winter is on the way.

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