A Christmas Dickie-Quickie

Last few days for your Christmas notes. Please send them to Dick@DickSummer.com This one is from Proud Podcast Participant, DAVE:

Dick,

Last year I shared with you and your readers a Christmas tale about spending Christmas Eve walking with my first love around her suburban neighborhood, not knowing we would very soon part forever. I have been searching through my memories for another story to send you, but have been having all sorts of trouble.

It finally occurred to me what the problem is; that story is the ONLY discrete Christmas memory I have that really stands out! Those of my childhood have faded, those since meeting my present wife are all too similar, having all been spent with her family, and those in the middle encompass such a bad time that they have been banished from my memory.

It’s not that I have no memories of any other Christmas. But they are fragments, mental snapshots; images of the tree, of going next door to compare toys with the neighbor kid, of me placing my forehead against the freezing windowpanes to stare into the thin sheets of ice that formed on our windows, gleaming red and blue from the blinking Christmas lights that my Dad put up every year until the year when he said I could do it and it became my privilege ever after.

But there was one Christmas tradition we had for a while that I remember well. One December my Grandmother happened to mention to me and one of my older cousins that she was not going to put up a tree any more. She felt too old, too uninspired, to bother with it. So my cousin and I looked at each other, said so long and hatched a plan….

She and I went uptown to Holiday Tree and Trim, which was THE place in our town for Christmas supplies. We pooled our funds and bought a deluxe artificial tree, scads of lights, balls, tinsel, candles, garlands etc etc etc. Then we descended on Grandma’s place, a pair of oversized elves with a mission.

We Yuled the HECK out of that small apartment!

It perked her Christmas spirit right back up.

So NEXT year she asked me when my cousin and I were going to put up the tree. A quick phone call and my cousin appeared, the decorations hauled out and the season had started once again. It became a small tradition for Kerrie and I to decorate Grandma’s place for the holidays.

Like so much, though, it faded. I went off to college, Kerrie to a husband and kids. Holiday Tree and Trim is closed now, the store still standing empty, its faded sign a sad reminder of The Good Old Days. The whole town seems tired, waiting and hoping for something to happen. I live far away.

But for a few years we had a blast decorating Grandma’s place!

Happy Holidays, Dick!

Dave

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