Friday, December 23, 2005

Your Christmas Card

It's been unseasonably cold the last couple of weeks, so we haven't had much opportunity to enjoy the back porch, but highs in the 60's tomorrow mean at least hanging out at my bar for a bit of Christmas cheer! Merry Christmas from my windsurfing snowman!

I have no idea what Bill O'Reilly is thinking - this "elitest liberal secularists" freakin' LOVES Christmas! I got some serious shwag growing up, likely much more than I deserved and certainly much more than we could afford. As the oldest kid of two oldest kids, it was another 8 years before the haul that my sister and I took in got diluted by first cousins, so the grandparents got to dote on us as well. We really raked it in!

Between talking about Nashville Christmases with mapgirl and high school Christmases with Curtis, I've been doing more reminiscing than is my want, but I suppose that's allowable at this time of year. One of the highlights of Christmas in Nashville in the 60's was the enormous nativity scene sponsored by Harvey's Department Store in front of the Parthenon in Centennial Park. Most people drove around the circle a few times but I remember that we'd usually actually park and roll the windows down a bit (despite the cold) to hear the music and watch the changing color lights. I've seen a couple of people write that they stopped putting it up because of pressure to remove religious stuff from a public park, but as I recall the stuff was so damaged from years of use (and a couple of mid-60's snow/ice storms) that it was falling apart and Harvey's didn't want to foot the bill to repair or replace it. But it was cool while it lasted (as was the indoor carousel at Harvey's!). And as I told Curtis, every time I walk into a Kirkland's I suddenly feel like I'm back in Eastland Mall in Charlotte and start looking around for the beauteous Caughman sisters who always used to work there around the holidays.

JennySlash asked me a couple of weeks ago what the best Christmas present I ever got was and without even thinking about it I was able to answer with "my first bike" - Christmas 1966. It was a 20" Spyder-bike clone with a candy-apple red banana seat and was just the coolest ride I'd ever imagined. I know it wasn't a real Spyder because it didn't have the stickshift but who cared?! It made me mobile, which is one of the greatest gifts you can give a kid. The second greatest gift was also a bike - my first real lightweight 10-speed (yes kids, 10 gears used to be the norm) that I got when I was 14 and which again made me mobile all the way through college.

If you're expecting a paper-style Christmas card from us this year, you'll probably get it, maybe just a little late. With JS having had a fever since last Friday and barely leaving the bed and with Damien requiring quite a bit of extra attention, we didn't get the last of our cards out until Wednesday. For those of you who are newer friends for whom I don't have a snail-mail address, please consider this my holiday greetings and a wish for a happy, healthy and succesful new year for you all!


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