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Memories of Christmas Past

We practiced memorizing songs for weeks ahead, carefully choosing in what order to sing them. We decided that from one house to another we would jauntily sing Jingle bells, loudly, to let people know we were on our way.

Caroling late evening snow with Maria DeRosa, her little sister, Linda and the Milan girls, Maureen and Janet,  I remember trudging through unshoveled sidewalks to houses where people wouldn't answer the door, though we could see their shadows behind the curtained windows, and there were some who offered money. We were confused by these unexpected occurrences and thought we were doing something wrong or would give into it. 

Weren't people supposed to stand in their doorway, smiling, with the light shining behind them as they listened in joy and reverence as we belted out our three songs in the cold?

We were surprised too of the offer of coming in for cocoa. It had not been on our itinerary. We politely but firmly turned them down as any good girl should. After all Santa was watching to see if we were naughty or nice. Besides, I had timed all the songs to get us finished on our block and back home at the time promised to our parents. Another naughty-nice ratio to consider. Just the same, we were late anyways as I forgot to consider the hampering of the snow in that plan. Luckily our parents didn't mind, and assured us Santa probably approved of our caroling.

I have always looked back on that experience with fondness not for the final act for which we worked so hard to produce, but the time together, the bonding we had those weeks beforehand and the incredible love of music so easily memorized and engraved in my mind.

Then there was the short marriage with the husband, who shall remain nameless. He picked out the best tree in the lot, asked for it to be flocked, and did not pick it up until after the lot closed!

He had waited until the last minute and stole it on Christmas eve with my child in the car! What could I say? I wasn't going to spoil the magic for my daughter.

I've never liked flocked trees and I certainly haven't considered having one again. We lived on Chatauqua Lake in western New York state at the time. The evergreen woods behind our house abounded with heavily laden branches shimmering in the moonlight. There is no comparison to an artificial flocked tree.

One Christmas the local Mall in Indianapolis had a clever promotion supported by the pet shop located within. I took my cats in to see Santa Claus and have their picture taken. We stood in line a long time with all the other pets that had been brought for this special event. It was a cacophonous Christmas event!

My calico, Keli sat on top of her carrier sniffing the air with curiosity, inviting people to pet her, and daring the doggies to look her way while Boo Boo, my Siamese, cowered inside. When it came time for the photo shoot, I couldn't have them both together as I'd planned. Miss Keli calmly posed like a professional model.
But, Boo hated Santa and struggled so hard, Santa had to keep a good grip on him while the picture was taken. I wonder how many wounds that dear man suffered that evening. To this day anyone who looks at that picture of Boo, comments, "That is one pissed off cat".

Do you have unexpected Christmas memories dropping in to visit your psyche?

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