Friday, December 19, 2008

Another Christmas story

Every Christmas Eve we would drive to Aunt Sylvia and Uncle Bud's house. It was the tradition - and the way we exchanged gifts with my dad's family (sister Sylvia and other sister Mildred and families).

It wasn't very far, but every year I would worry that someone would break into our house and steal all the really good gifts under our tree, at home.

Isn't it just too cool that my Christmas memories involve worry?

Anyway ... we'd get to Aunt Sylvia's, where it was always about 85 degrees. I think we wore shorts and T-shirts.

She always had these gigantic trees with equally gigantic ornaments and lights. I recall a string of some kind of plastic cylinder with a whirlygig inside that rotated with the heat from the light. It was kind of fascinating, actually.

She was also the first person in the family to get a color TV. Well, she and Uncle Bud (he was the one who shot his dog in the ass while hunting, from some random story I told months ago).

We always had overcooked turkey and scalloped potatoes from Aunt Mildred that had unidentifiable black bits in it.

Aunt Mildred had 3 children who turned Jehovah's Witness. At first they would appear on Christmas Eve and lecture us about the fallacy of the celebration. Then they stopped coming altogether, which was a drag in one way but not in other ways.

Aunt Sylvia died a few years back - on Christmas Day.

We hadn't had the Christmas Eve get together for years because she and Uncle Bud had moved 'up north' (northern Michigan) and then my immediate family all moved out here. Uncle Bud had died a few years before.

But I do remember a later Christmas Eve, at Aunt Mildred's house. All I remember is watching a video of The Nutcracker ballet featuring Michail Baryshnikov, and Aunt Mildred commenting about his ... well, let's just say it was surprising, but hilarious.

P.S. No one has sent me a Christmas memory. I'm going to have to start making them up soon.

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