“Tis the Season o’ Melancholy; Fa-La-La-La-La, Blah-Blah-Blah-Blah.” II
Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Con't. from

Boasts of Christmas presents.

What was your favorite Christmas present, your favorite Christmas memory. We’ve all asked the question, we’ve all thought about it, if not answered it, those of us who have celebrated it anyway. As a child of course they are supposed to magical, and as a child, I was very fortunate. We weren’t rich by any stretch, but I always managed to get the best gifts I could imagine: they were all “great”. Matchbox Cars, Hot Wheels and GI Joes. But among all those there are standouts.

The first one is something I gave the family when I was but three years old (almost 4, but my birthday was still three weeks away.) I had just had my tonsils out and was to the point that my throat didn’t hurt but I did manage to catch some sort of bug. I remember a lot of the toys from my hospital stay were scattered about the tree as well as the unopened ones. It was Christmas Eve, or very nearly so, and I remember being upstairs and being sick and looking out the window, waiting for my mother to turn down the road on the way home from work. The anticipation was killing me. Suddenly, I spied the car. I let out a squeal of glee that only children and whales can make, and ran down the stairs. My body, quite apart from the rest of me was not so overjoyed. Apparently it was a flu that I had been nursing and my body protested the sudden call to action as only a child’s would. The stream of puke, ran the length of the stairway, and by one of those crazy twists life generates, the Christmas Tree with all of its decorations and all of its gifts, being located at the foot of the stairs, was similarly baptized, no doubt wondering why God had chosen it for such a cruel post-mortem joke. Being a good kid by nature I had covered my mouth with my hands but if you’ve ever stuck your thumb into the end of a hose to increase the pressure, you can’t guess the effect this ill-advised move made. “Hi, mommy!” Kids, ya gotta love ‘em.

The second one came when I was almost seven. For weeks, perhaps months, some super secret project was going on in Opa’s workshop. In ways that I will never be able to understand now the secret was kept until the grand unveiling. I suspect being of good German stock there was some threat of injury or detrimental supernatural intervention, or maybe being passed over by St. Nick was enough…After all the agonizing days of unsatisfied curiosity—at that point in my life, knowledge of any kind was a food group and it’s acquisition my highest priority—the day finally came. My grandfather had built a picture-perfect miniature barn, stable enough to survive the enthusiasm of a seven year old and his friends, from scratch. Upon its front was my name in perfectly hand-painted letters. It had doors, of course (the largest of which we discovered could allow my body ingress), and windows that swung open, the one on upper level having a hook which was used as the pulley for the contain to raise the straw for storage. The roof of the barn opened up so you could see the goings on in there; the goings on were the part that I was to supply. My tractors and implements and barnyard animals now had a home all their own and I could be master of all. It was an altogether amazing feat, Christmas or not.

The third happened about 19 years ago. Toni and I had been cultivating our friendship and were obviously attracted to one another. For months we had (I had) been in denial and we never acted on our impulses. On Christmas Eve, I invited her up to my apartment and the pent up passion we both felt for so long burst forth. We kissed for the first time. It lasted for 45 minutes. Catching our breath we took the opportunity to compose ourselves, go to the bathroom and the like. The “moment” had passed and my senses returned and sanity prevailed. All we did was kiss that night. She went home and spent Christmas Day with her parents. I spent it alone; my roommate and his girlfriend went home for the holidays. My head spun and spun for the entire day. 24 hours (hang onto that number…). On the next day, we met up again. And we’ve never been the same since. A year and a half later, we were married.



Wednesday, December 13, 2006 6:48 AM


Wow. Thank you for this, too! This does help with the doldrums!
Oh, and that fort in the second picture? I had one of those! :-)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006 6:24 AM


Absolutely beautiful.I love the pictures.Thank you.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006 6:39 PM


Yep...gotta classify the first make out session with the wife as a key memory, 'specially if it happened around Christmas;)


Tuesday, December 12, 2006 4:29 PM


That is so beautiful .Your wife is a lucky woman, JQ.


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