Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town

I’ve written before about my Christmas memories; that I have many and conflicting emotions about them. As merchants, my family went all out for Christmas decorations in the store, but at home there was no Christmas, we celebrated Chanukah. There was no overlap. We had a Jewish, if not kosher, home and a commercial establishment that catered to a Christian community, and for them and for the bottom line, the store celebrated Christmas. The whole family worked in the store during the season. We closed as early as we could shoo the last customer out of the store on Christmas Eve, and had a party in the shoe department (that’s where the chairs are, people) for the store family (all the employees, duh). Then the nuclear family walked over to Grandpa’s house and had a drink and then we all went and ate Chinese food, as one does.

But my friends, those Christians for whom we held Christmas in the store, they all wanted me to enjoy and have Christmas with them. They felt I was missing something, so they gave it to me: tree trimming parties, cookies, ribbon candy, wrapping and unwrapping. And best of all, Christmas food. Today I am remembering my dear, dear, dear friend Kay Thompson and all the Christmas mornings I spent at her home. I remember the year she received her diamond studs from her father, I remember her Porsche 914 (the squashed, flat frog), her Doberman puppy, the equestrian ribbons in her bedroom. I remember her annoying little brothers, Charles and David (who are probably highly respectable businessmen in their 50s with grandchildren now, sorry.) And anyway, that sentence maybe should read that I remember annoying her two little brothers.

But most of all, I remember her mother’s left over ham, fried up and served with red-eye gravy. Kay’s mother could take my one-syllable name and stretch it out to three. Kay and I would just roll our eyes. I wish I could tell Kay today how much I love these memories, and how sad I am that she’s gone, even though we rarely spoke these past 15 years. Just knowing that she was out there in the world made me happy.

Happy Christmas to all. And may you create new memories this year.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/25 at 12:31 PM in Maudlin Crap

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