Merry Christmas to all

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I stood around and let Christmas catch up with me again. Goodness, I could dig out an old Christmas column and it would serve just as well, but what the heck, I enjoy just remembering.
I lived in the old house, the one I was born in, ‘til I was nine. We got electricity when I was six. We never decorated or lit up the Christmas tree. It just stood back there in the corner, far away from the fireplace. We had selected it from our place a week earlier. We’d been looking for a good tree since last Christmas.
It was understood that the day to shop for Christmas was Christmas Eve. Who ever heard of shopping for Christmas any other time? Come on. Of course, in my early years, I wondered what all the fuss was about. Santa would bring everything we wanted anyway.
But it was fun. Daddy would take the day before Christmas off and we’d hit the stores, first in Vernon, my hometown. Look at that window at Falkner’s! Little red wagons, tricycles, skates and trains, all on a field of cotton snow.
Then there’s the drugstore — home of the world’s greatest malted milks. But now we’re serious about shopping. Hmmm. Maybe some Evening in Paris perfume… .
Let’s check out Sulligent, our neighboring/rival town to the north. Look in Ogden’s and the Yellow Front.
Then on to the big city in our area, Columbus, Mississippi. My! Look at the jewelry stores and men’s stores and women’s stores and shoe stores and toy stores. I don’t know what all. This big city stuff is almost overwhelming. Whelming, at least.
That night, after the always present “things” that have to be done — the mules and cows have to be taken care of, holiday or what — then, early to bed, quivering with anticipation.
For one morning of the year, Daddy doesn’t have to beg or threaten us to get us up. He’d stall: “Well, wait ‘til I get the fire going good… .”
And then, there’s the old tree, with sacks and packages — wrapped and unwrapped — all around it and in it. There are sacks of pecans and huge delicious apples and oranges and the rest of the things we saw only at Christmas: tangerines, Brazil nuts and English walnuts.
Later on, after breakfast and the “thangs,” we’d head up to Grandpa Boman’s house, where Mother’s five sisters and two brothers and their families would all be there or coming.
We kids would  be showing off our new aviator caps with goggles and our cap pistol-holster sets and our fake leather jackets and gloves, and our sweaters and sneakers and pocket knives and bells of all kinds. Then a huge Christmas dinner. Enough said.
After that, more playing, until a few people start leaving … and pretty soon, the ones who do not live close by are gone.
Well, Ross will go home with me and we’ll go hunting early tomorrow morning. Still, it’s the saddest time of the year.
Merry Christmas, everybody.
Bob Sanders is a retired local radio personality, as well as a columnist, author and raconteur of note. He can be reached at bobbypsanders@gmail.com.

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