Every year at Christmas my family sits around and people tell stories. Now, these can be stories that make you think about the meaning of Christmas and family, or they can be unfortuante reminders of some crazy thing someone did in the past. Like back in the sixties, early seventies, when women went through a period where wigs were all the rage. My mom had gorgeous blond hair, but she wore a wig like everyone else. We were on the way to Granny's house. It was a warm Christmas day and she had the window down a bit. She turned to reprimand my brother and I for something and leaned too close to the window. Whoosh! The wig went flying out of the car. We turned to see it blowing down the highway. Dad had to turn around so Mom could retrieve it, but needless to say, she wasn't happy with the way it looked. She tried patting it back into place and put it on, but the moment she walked in Granny's house, her brother's started giving her grief about the wig that looked exactly like it blew out the window of a car. Dad snatched the wig off her head and said, "Yeah, but what's underneath is worse." There she stood with her real hair all smashed down to her scalp. My mom was sooooo mad. I believe there may have been some foul language involved.
They love to tell the story of me roller skating down the road, on Christmas morning, wearing my new white skates, a tutu over my cowboy pants, six shooters strapped to my waist, my new red cowboy shirt and matching hat, and twirling a baton. I don't think it's that funny. I was obviously confused. Glad I figured that out.
The one story they have to tell, especially if there are non-family members in the room, involves me, as well. I was two and a half years old and just 10 1/2 months younger than my brother. My mother was stressed to the limit. If you've read my blogs then you know we were hellions. On this particular Christmas Eve, my mom was running around trying to get us dressed for the community Christmas pageant. In our rural community, Santa made visits to each home with children before the pageant started. Once Santa left the house, the family would proceed to the community building. Our house was just down the road from the community center, so we had to be ready to go as soon as Santa made his visit or we would be late arriving.
Well, mom was trying to get us and herself dressed. Of course, my dad did not participate in such activites. It's a generational thing, I believe, but dad's job was not taking care of the kids. I was dressed when Santa came to the door. I do not remember any of this, so I have to rely on my parents' memory. Santa came in and sat down in the big easy chair. My brother crawled on his lap and told him what he wanted. Then it was my turn.
Santa lifted me up and sat me on his leg, which I straddled like a pony. He said, "You look very pretty. I like your dress. It matches my suit."
I was wearing a red velvet dress with white lace trim, white socks with lace, and those hated patent leather shoes. I've seen the pictures. I was very well dressed. A big red bow in my hair. Here's where it gets good.
I leaned over and whispered to Santa, "I have to tell you somethin'."
He smiled, expecting me to tell him what I wanted. "Tell me," he said.
This my mom's favorite part.
I said, "Santa Clause, my momma forgot to put on my underwear."
My mom says Santa rapidly lifted me off his leg and stood me on the floor. She apologized and scooped me up and took me to my room to finish dressing me, calling over her shoulder as she left. "It's a wonder I'm wearing underwear. These kids are driving me insane."
I never got to tell Santa what I wanted. So, later at the community center, I walked up to Santa in the middle of the room and said very loudly, "Santa, I am wearing underwear now and so is Momma."
Happy holidays, however you celebrate, and don't forget to wear your underwear.