Monday, December 24, 2012

Well it is Christmas Eve. When I was a kid we were pretty poor. My father supported five children on a long-haul trucker's salary. Christmas was the only time of the year we got toys. The Sears Christmas catalog would show up in October and we would pour over it and let out mother know something that we really wanted. We knew better than to pick something expensive out. I remember when I was 10 or 11 I got a rock tumbler. Oh! I was so happy. And then there was the year nice grandma gave my mother five dollars for each of us and mother bought me a pair of snow pants. That was tragic.

Christmas Eve meant the party at Grandma T's house. She had a fake fireplace and a tree with tinsel and bubble lights. Mr. Burton sometimes showed up dressed as Santa. Grandma and Grandpa T had 11 grandchildren- five by my parents, four by Aunt LouAnne, and 2 by Uncle Tom. And Grandma T would spend divide her Christmas money into thirds and so nine of us kids would get sweat shirts or sweaters and the other two would get Erector sets with motors or Rock-em Sock-em boxer toys. And we had to watch them play with those but were not allowed to touch.

When I was seven I ran through the beaded curtain that separated her living room from the hall that led upstairs or to her pink bathroom. I knelt in front of the pink toilet and threw up and my mother was standing behind me and Grandma T came charging in on my left and screamed at me, "You've ruined Christmas!" I asked my mother, why is she yelling at me? Mother took me home and to this day she says it was the best Christmas because she didn't have to see Tommy and Timmy get their fancy presents. She put me to bed and played on her new electric organ, and later she woke me up and she and Susan watched me open my presents in the middle of the night.

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