Smith Family Christmas 2013 in Review: Santa and Elf Need Geritol


Mike Smith – proofreader, editor, and tech half of The Village Smith. Oh. And, of course, Santa Claus. The wording in the circle says, “Does this suit make me look fat?”

Christmas had a special glow this year, as evidenced by our pictorial review. Though Mike and I were so tired we could hardly stand by the end, it was worth it. Collapsing later with 12-year-old granddaughter Montana and watching “Despicable Me 2” was the icing on the cake. Love those minions, don’t you?

The gift that brought the most fun was the Jelly Belly dispenser for Mike and me and the Mickey Mouse snow globe I got for free from J.C. Penny. Mike and I are entering our second childhood, apparently. We’re easily entertained.


Montana selected to be the first to pull the little Jelly Belly figurine and sample the Jelly Bellys. The look says, “You mean me? For real?”


The proof is in the pudding. Or, in this case, the bean. When I asked Montana who was the most famous person to put these jelly beans on the map, she didn’t know. When I told her the answer she said, “Who’s Ronald Reagan?” We took time out for a short history lesson. You just never know where a history lesson will crop up. Even on Christmas Day.

The gift that got the wryest look was the “chores board” for Montana from Books-A-Million. It listed chores to be done. (There were lots of them). And little button magnets to place beside each completed chore. Oh, she loved that one. (Not). But she was willing to give it a try since it was new and intriguing. Of course, she got games and clothes and art stuff, so it wasn’t exactly like getting coal in her stocking.


One look from a pre-teen is worth a thousand words.


Montana’s always been a good little artist. This year she wanted art books and art supplies. Says she wants to be an architect when she grows up. I told her she has to graduate high school first, so don’t start kissing boys. “GRANDMA!” comes the outraged squeal. “YUK!” — Okay, kid, I say. Just remember the yuk a couple of years from now.

I never could get a family picture. Nobody would stand still or shut up. So I had to leap around like a swashbuckler to get any pictures. Naturally most of them blurred. But I got a few for memory’s sake.


Henry Smith

Here’s my football jock son, Henry. His sister, Michelle, still calls him Reedy, his childhood nickname. He’s a diehard Georgia Bulldogs and Atlanta Falcons fan through thick and thin. It’s been mostly thin, but Henry’s faithful.

As a teen, he loved teaching me football positions and how to throw a spiral. After a while I could come up out of a stance fast, and my long spirals were the envy of his football friends whose mothers frowned upon such un-feminine practices. But what a way to bond with your son, huh?!


Henry and Tammy Smith. I never got a clear picture of Tammy, my loving and helpful daughter-in-law and fellow movie buff.


Daughter Michelle is a rabid Alabama Crimson Tide fan. Nothing and no one gets in the way of her and her television when the Tide is rolling. You guys wouldn’t believe the fanaticism around here for Alabama. True story — I was at Jack’s Hamburger in Holly Pond recently where I was told about a local man who had a heart attack and died just before the big Alabama/Auburn game. People grieved because the dearly departed had missed the big game. (God, what were you THINKING). Well, apparently the Lord spared the man seeing Alabama get beat by Auburn in that historical 109-yard run for the last split-second winning touchdown. Former son-in-law Dickie liked to ask people – “How long is a second?” Answer. “109 yards!” Dickie’s an Auburn fan.


Michelle, Dickie, and (rear), brother Paul



DSCN1579Brother Paul McDaniel gets clothes every Christmas. He depends on a big batch of socks from sister Gaynell, who is ever faithful to produce them. And wrap them. Every year. This year I bought clothes for just about everyone, and like the mighty Casey, I struck out. Nobody’s stuff fit. So I’ve been back on the Christmas battlefield doing returns. And do you know how HOT it is in those stores?!!! My gosh!!! Brother Paul was just a baby when I was in my teens. So he was essentially my baby. Recently he asked me if I remembered swinging him in the rope swing and singing “You Are My Sunshine” to him. I did, but I was astounded that he did. We went over old childhood memories. I remembered when I left home for the first time and lived in South Carolina. Paul, who was struggling to read and write, stuck a meticulously printed note inside a letter Mama sent me. It read, “Dear Sister my rabbit died.” I still have that note somewhere. I treasure it.

And, of course, this is my Pumpkin Darling and her grandma – me. I don’t know why I had my fist clenched. Even though I was having a ball, I was exhausted. I think I needed a cigarette and a Valium. And I don’t even smoke or do drugs. Never have. Maybe a glass of eggnog. Okay. So, between Mike, Tammy, and me, we drank it all. Mostly me.


My Pumpkin Darling and me.

Now, taadaaa. The last one. My big darling and me. This is our 39th Christmas together. If you look closely you can tell the years are weighing heavy. Having fun didn’t used to be this hard. I think we’re actually holding each other up. Anyway, that was our Christmas 2013. Hope yours was good. Send me a picture or two. Now let’s look forward to a wonderful New Year, the good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise. Love ya. Be sweet. — Mike and Linda.




9 thoughts on “Smith Family Christmas 2013 in Review: Santa and Elf Need Geritol

  1. Wheee! I LOVE all the wonderful photos. The one of you and Montana is super sweet and I’m going to save it. Also the pic of you and Mike at the end and Mike as Santa at the top of the page.

    Montana is a beauty and looks very grown up for only 12. It’s very nice to see the faces of family members you wirte about.

    I can just imagine the look on Montana’s face when she opened the “chore board” gift. 🙂

    Thank you for sharing your Christmas with us.

    • All three of my grandgirls are big for their age. Well, two of them are grown and gone. One is over 6 ft. All three are beauties. Montana, from toddler to about nine or ten, was tiny and petite.

      I have no grands that will be hobbits like me. But size can give one a different perspective on life.

      The picture of Montana when she realized what the board was is just right. I got it at the perfect moment. She has an expressive face, anyway. She can even do a one-brow arched lift, like the Spock eyebrow lift. She has cracked us up for years.

      Hope you and Frank enjoyed your holidays. If you didn’t over-enjoy it you may not be as tired as we are. I’m taking it easy for a few days.

      • Oh! How funny about Mike’s Santa T-shirt. I honestly didn’t realize the “beer belly” was part of the shirt. VERY clever and credible. Someone did a good silk screening job on the shirt.

        I’m suprised that you have a grandchild who’s over six feet tall. You’re so tiny, but Mike looks tall. Or is that because you’re so tiny next to him?

        We survived fine. Ate too much yesterday and today though. Frank was in bed well before midnight last night. I watched the year change on the clock in the corner of my computer. Now I ask you, how much more exciting can New Year’s Eve get than that? Hee!

      • The T-shirt was so good that nobody noticed the belly was drawn in until that night.

        My oldest grandchild is Kayla, born 1986. At age 5 she was as big and tall as a ten-year-old. Had long, beautifully blonde hair. Looked like a Valkyrie maiden.

        Mike is about 5’11’, he says. But to me he looks at least 6 ft. My son Henry is about 5’10”, but is so muscular and his shoulders so big he looks like a walking tank. Years ago when I was waitressing at a Chinese restaurant in Charleston, Henry dropped by. A guy who was a regular customer crudely asked, “How did that,” (pointing at Henry) come out of that (pointing at me). I snapped back that he wasn’t born fully blown and playing football. Anyway, my Duncan grandmother was 4 ft. something, and so was my Irish great-grandmother. I kept up in size with my classmates throughout grade school. When I came back from summer vacation going into junior high, I was in for quite a shock. I stayed the same while everyone else had shot up. I felt like I was walking in a well.

        Henry and Tammy came over for New Year and Tammy and I (since we weren’t going anywhere) played around with party make-up and glitter. Our faces and shirts glittered beautifully until the little sparkly pieces settled in my wrinkles. That would be funny if it wasn’t so pathetic. We tried getting some pictures, but unfortunately we ate first. Our New Year’s fare was Papa John’s Pizza and bread sticks with garlic butter. I have never been able to eat two large slices of pizza, plus a bread stick. I ate it all because it was sooooo delicious. But within a few minutes I looked like a pregnant penguin. Never again.

      • What the man in the restaurant said about you and Henry reminds me of Frank and his mother. He’s 6′ 3″ and his mother was 5′ 1″. He weighed ten pounds when he was born. His mother loved him dearly, but declared he would be her one and only child. Can’t say that I blame her.

        My father was about six feet tall and my mother was 5′ 5″. I was 5′ 8″ when I was 13 and stayed at that height. That’s fine, but I wish I’d stayed at the same weight I was at 13. The last physical I had, they measured me and said I was 5′ 7″ now. Like many people when they get older, I guess I’ve shrunk an inch. Unfortunately, it was an inch in height, not girth.

  2. I didn’t see any wrinkles in the picture with your granddaughter. We spent Christmas in south Ala. with my daughter’s boyfriends’s family. The highlight of the day was a huge fire they built outside that night and we sat around and talked and told lies. Jamie is always building fires in cold weather and sitting outside. Two of my grandchildren are in San Francisco and the other two live in Vermont so it gets lonesome with just our daughter and the two of us. That’s why I enjoyed spending the time in Vinegar Bend, Ala and Lucedale, Ms.

    • Believe me. There are wrinkles. And the more tired I get the more they show. Sounds like you had a great Christmas, too. I like the swapping lies thing. Two years before my mother died, we flew to San Francisco to see her brother she had not seen in years and years. It was her first flight. We LOVED San Francisco and for some reason I never thought I would. As for Vermont, Mike and I have always wanted to see the fall colors there. I’ve never heard of Vinegar Bend, but I like to look up places on maps and Google. Thanks for enjoying our Christmas with us. I did great videos for Thanksgiving, but, unfortunately, my wordpress won’t let me do videos. But, it’s free, so I can’t complain.


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