Jan 5, 2009


Current mood: cold
When (Christmas) Season and I sat together on Christmas day sipping our heated beverages of choice (She drank coffee - I drank some coffee after taste with a heavy chocolate and milk concoction), we talked about some of our best Yuletide moments.
First of all, ever since the death of Saturday morning cartoons (I've written about this before) I don't do mornings. I can't wake up before 9 A.M. for the life of me.
Albeit this is not true on December 25th. On this day I wake up by 6 A.M. at the latest every year (although there is one exception and I won't and will never apologize for it. if you didn't want me to go out with my cousin that night before, you should have said something).
It's the one day of the year when, as the dawn's early light starts to illuminate and cut through the brisk Wisconsin air, I am there to embrace it with a childlike enthusiasm. This year was no different.
While I'm waiting for (Holiday) Season to wake up I set up our gifts on a couple of T.V. trays.
I had been sitting and waiting for my wife to wake up so that we could partake in the age old tradition of ripping and tearing asunder that holiday paper decorated with candy canes, snowmen, reindeer, snowflakes and jolly old Saint Nick.
5 A.M. comes and goes.
6 A.M.
7 A.M.
7:30 A.M. an idea enters my yuletide overdosed gray matter.
I'll get the coffee and cinnamon rolls going. Breakfast blend and Pillsbury should wake up the wife with no serious violence headed towards yours truly.
The coffee had been perking for three minutes, the oven was preheated to the correct temperature and the rolls were being slid into the oven when I hear our creaky bedroom door open.
She proceeds to do her morning ritual, which consists of stumbling around in a pre-caffeinated state, first pee of the day and the lighting of the first cigarette of the day.
By the time she was done with this, the coffee was done percolating and the cinnamon rolls were done bake-a-lating, and both were on a couple of T.V. trays in the living room, where coincidentally our gifts to each other were also situated.
After coffee and cinnamon rolls were consumed, gift wrapping was just a pile of utter destruction, and loving and thankful smooches we started sharing Christmas stories.
And I told her this story...
Have you ever noticed that while you are growing up, and you're poor, you never realize you are poor until much later in life?
My mom had told me that because we were having money problems, that Christmas might be late. For some strange reason in my six year old head that was OK. I knew that sometimes we didn't have a lot of stuff, so this was just a reality I accepted back then.
Well, Christmas was quickly approaching.
In first grade, Sister Catherine gave us time to write a letter to Santa and I remember asking him for three things.
1. That my mom could be happy.
2. That we could be together on Christmas. (My mom worked two jobs, so I was either alone or, if she could afford it, at a babysitters.)
3. And a Christmas tree.
Yeah I know, I was a weird kid. She helped us to make sure that the spelling was correct and put them in an envelope. She told us to make sure our parents read them, have them sign them and bring them back and we would mail them from the school.
I didn't get mine back.
Neither did a couple of the other kids.
The kids who didn't get their letters back were given candy, and we all forgot about the letters.
WHAT? You think my very short attention span was BETTER when I was younger? I was given candy. Back then I would have given up recess to get the privilege of eating candy in the classroom.

It is now 11 P.M. on December 24th 1977. My mom had off from both of her jobs so we were going to Midnight mass. Since she didn't drive (and wouldn't get her license for another 6 years) we had to walk.
This would be my first Christmas Eve Midnight Mass and it was massive. I went to St. Joseph's for school and I had never seen it this full. Sadly, like any six year old up at midnight, a few minutes into the service I began to have visions of sugar plums dance around in my now dreaming cabesa (that's head in spanish).
Next thing I know, I'm being put down and being told to wake up at the front door of our apartment. One of the families had given my mom and I a ride home after mass.
As we said thank you to Mr. and Mrs. "G" for the ride, Mrs. "G" gives me a wink and says "Merry Christmas!"
While mom is looking for her keys, I asked her how they found us in the church with all those people there.
With the door unlocked, she opened the door, turned on the light and THE most wondrous sight in six and a half years of life greeted me.
Here was a tree decorated with ornaments, lights, tinsel, and all kinds of presents under it. There was a stocking on the wall with my name on it and even that was full.
I started crying.
I turned to my mom and gave her one of the biggest hugs I have ever given.
I kept screaming Merry Christmas over and over.
My mom was so happy that she was tearing up.
Thank you Santa.
It was Christmas and Mom and I were together.
Thank you Santa.
And I had the tallest, biggest, and most beautiful tree I have ever seen.
Thank you Santa.
I was still holding my mom in the doorway, crying and telling her I got everything I that asked Santa for.
She said you haven't opened anything yet, how would you know.
I said because I wrote to Santa and I asked him for a tree and for you to be home and happy.
If you asked me what I received as toys that year I honestly couldn't answer. I believe there Star Wars figures...but that was during the time period that every kid received Star Wars figures as gifts.
But I'll always remember my mom smiling and at home that evening...
and that tree.
Currently reading:
Magyk (Septimus Heap, Book 1)
By Angie Sage
Release date: 2005-03-15

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