Christmas is almost here eh! I don’t need a calender to tell me that. Everytime I take a seat and feel the wallet that is now thinner than a tuna can lid, I know the season is upon us. Christmas shopping for teenagers is a real expensive procedure. No more barbie dolls and crazy carpets for them, they only want the latest in fashion and electronics. As for me, all I want to do is get through it without declaring bancrupcy….
As I drink a glass of egg nogg (store bought!) I’m reminded of Christmases gone by when things were a little bit simpler, to me anyways. Christmas eve at church, then a terrible long night of waiting for Santy Clause to make his appearance. Then at the first light of dawn, we’d make that terribly long journey from our rooms, down the stairs and into the living room where the jolly old elf had been. We were never disappointed, our parents seemed to have a knack for getting us what we really wanted. Sounds perfect right? Almost, until you opened stuff from my grandfather(Everett), then things seemed to go a bit off-center.
Like the year he bought me an axe and a kerosene lantern. What was the old guy thinking? I was only seven or eight years old. To me they seemed like great gifts, but I can just imagine what was going through my parents’ heads. “My God! What that kid doesn’t chop up he’s going to burn down!” I was immediately ordered to use the axe in the presence of an adult, and as for the lantern, well let’s just say I could use it out in the yard and that’s it. Luckily I listened pretty good and never had too much trouble with it, except for the time I filled it with coleman gas and almost blew up one end of the house.
It always seemed that way with Gramp. His idea of a good gift was anything that would give my father ulcers. Maybe he did it on purpose. Before I was ten I had a hammer, saw and various other tools that could destroy pretty much anything I set them to in a short period of time. Can you imagine in this day and age setting a kid loose with a bunch of cutting tools and large supply of kerosene? They’d arrest you for sure! Cultivating terrorists the authorities would say. Looking back on it now, I’m pretty sure he just wanted me to be able to work and build stuff. And maybe torment Dad just a little…