(Our TV was separate from the Stereo Cabinet, but the Stereo Cabinet was at least this large.)
And, at Christmas, the tree was in the living room. I don't remember exactly where Mom put it, but I'm sure it was somewhere of importance and still out of the way of the tv-viewing. After all, there was Dallas to watch. And don't forget my dad's favorite, Hee-Haw.
I realize that Santa respects each family's traditions. So at our house, he wrapped our presents. This was his attempt to fool my brother and me. One year, my brother found part of Santa's stash in the trunk of my mom's 1977 4-door white Mercury Cougar with burgundy cloth interior and white leather detail on the roof. Santa had to find other places to hide his local stash after that year.
There were always gifts under the tree. As soon as Mom could get them wrapped, we would prowl through them, counting to see that one of us didn't have more than the other. Santa would even occasionally leave an early surprise under the tree. Wrapped in the same paper as the other gifts to and from each other, these gifts from Santa would be labeled in my mom's mixture of script and print. It never caused us any confusion. We realized that Mom was just putting Santa's name there as a way of surprising someone without taking the credit for herself.
'Cause in her house, like mine, the mom does all the shopping. Except in my house, The Mighty Hunter buys my gift from him. But this only began after years of buying my own gifts and wrapping them and putting them under the tree. Disgusted with this unbelievable level of laziness on his part, one year I handed him a catalog marked with post-its and notes about sizes and colors and told him to buy my gift himself. Yes, I had chosen what I wanted. His gift to me was THE EFFORT.
I think I was probably the Most Magical Age of Four. Brother (have you ever noticed how similar the words bother and brother are? I'm just sayin'.) was sleeping in his bunk-bed in his own room. I had gone to bed and sleep early, upon request, without argument or delay.
It was Christmas Eve, after all.
Sometime during the ngiht, I was awakened suddenly. A sound had startled me.
The sounds of hoofs running across our roof.
I jumped out of bed and ran to the living room. There, glowing magically from the lights on the Christmas Tree, were piles of presents. Presents that had not been there when we went to bed. Presents of all shapes and sizes. Presents wrapped in beautiful wrapping paper - different from that Mom had used. And a name was written on each package.
I couldn't tell you whose hand-writing had labeled these gifts. I have no memory of that.
I couldn't tell you what a single one of those gifts were.
But I will tell you until the day I die that I heard reindeer running across our roof that night.
And they were taking off, not landing. 'Cause I didn't even get a glimpse of Santa in the living room!
What about you? What is a favorite Christmas memory of yours? Post it on your blog and come back here and leave a comment. I'd love to read it.