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.
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.
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.
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?!
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.
Brother 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.
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.