We Wish You a Merry...

You always think, or hope, that holidays are going to be special, memorable.

And, then, they all kind of blend into one year, one Christmas. You can't remember if that was 1978 or 1984, or the year that Grandma fell in the garage, or when the St. Bernard ate all the Christmas cookies while you were at church.

But, in the long run, I guess the year really doesn't matter. You can always check the back of the photographs, hoping that you dated them, if it's really important. And if you didn't, you can always say, well, "Cathy looks about 4", or "Chris was just a baby." Or even, "isn't that the wallpaper from Pleasantville?"

I told you about the year the St. Bernard ate all the turkey drippings and belched about the time the static electricity hit her, causing the gas that had built up inside to explode, burning off her eye lashes, and whiskers. We remembered that holiday, if not the year. So did Brandy, if dogs have memories.

Christmas trees sort of all run together, too, after a while. The same decorations, collected year after year. The tree with the birds nest in it. The tree with long needles. The tree that lost all the needles before Christmas. The year it fell off the top of the Jeep in front of Daly Chevrolet, if you remember where Daly Chevrolet was.

The years when we ran fish wire from the top of the Christmas tree to the ceiling, so the cats wouldn't knock the tree down when they climbed it. The year we didn't wire it, and the tree fell, crashing across the glass coffee table.

There was the 20-foot Christmas tree--the one we removed with a chain saw. The artificial tree. The tree with white flocking (does anyone flock anymore?).

Christmas cards, saved until the next year, in hope that you'd drop someone a letter in reply. The card from someone that nobody in the family could remember or recognize.

Presents of course. Tonka trucks and bicycles. Betsy Wetsy's and Dressy Bessy's, depending on the generation. 

The Christmas Day flight to Grandma's, in Florida. Cancelled when the chickenpox appeared Christmas morning.

Snowy Christmas Eve walks to church, cookies and milk for the reindeer, another verse of Silent Night. Santa Lucia and the Baby Jesus.

Like you, our family will be making some new memories this year. I know it will be special, a Christmas we'll remember forever. Just like your Christmas.

Did I tell you that all animals can talk at midnight on Christmas Eve. If, and only if, there aren't any people around to hear them?

It's true. I learned it, well I think it was about 1945, and....

Merry Christmas!

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