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More Christmas Memories

In my last post I said that the most memorable family Christmases were after my mother died. There are a couple of exceptions. On one of the many Christmases spent at my paternal grandparent's house, my brother and cousindoc and I got in trouble for throwing rocks at cars. We actually hit one of them, which I don't think any of us expected to happen. (We were kind of new to being bad kids.) The driver didn't seem to care about that and stopped and told our parents. We pretty much ruined Christmas.

That's an exception, but i think it fits pretty well with the unhappy=memorable paradigm.

There is a Christmas before my mother died that was pretty memorable. I was in my late teens or early twenties, and my well of gift ideas for my mother had run dry. My usual idea was that if I saw something in a gift shop, it looked or smelled pretty, and I had no idea what it was, it was a good present for my mom. That was starting to get old.

Finally, I had the idea of giving her a shoebox full of starlight mints and dollar bills. She liked starlight mints, and who doesn't like dollar bills?
Especially when there are a bunch of them.

It sounds like a dumb idea. If I'd been a character in a movie I would have said "It's so dumb, it just might work!!". And I would have been right, because my mother loved it!! Somewhere there is a picture of her sitting on the floor like a little girl, throwing dollar bills in the air.
Unfortunately, I don't know where the picture is. If I ever find it,I'll scan it and put it in my scrapbook.

I had mentioned in my last post there were two Christmases we spent in fancy hotels. I wrote about one of them.

The second one was in Charlottesville, Virginia, where my sister lived. It was the last Christmas with my father and the second one with my niece Andi (Barney wouldn't be around for another 3 years.) Pop didn't want my sister to have the trouble of house guests so he got hotel rooms for me, my brother's family, and himself at a luxury hotel near my sister's house. He was a good and generous man.

We all had cable in our rooms. I got to catch Donald Duck in Mathmagic Land, which was an unexpected treat. This was also when TBS was running 24 hours of back to back showings of A Christmas Story. I turned the channel to that before I went to bed. You just don't know how much fun Christmas can be until you've had A Christmas Story bleed into your dreams all night.

Having Andi around was or course great. I remember following her as she toddled all over the lobby. It was an enormous lobby, and she was such a tiny child it must have looked like a whole country to her. When we went to my sister's house, she kept going over to the statue of Francis of Assisi  my sister had in her front room and kissing it. That's still a beautiful memory.