Blue Christmas…One Year in Virginia.


Christmas 2013


 I see an empty place at this table. I see a crutch without an owner, carefully preserved.

That empty recliner.

It hurts my heart.

On the night of December 19th, 2012…we arrived back home in Virginia. On the 25th of December 2012, my Daddy had sat in that chair, ready for Christmas. Now, here we are one year later. And that chair is empty. I suffered three losses this year. All of them major. Two are private and I will only share them with family at this point. But one…one I will share with you all.

This year was a year of many things, all jam packed into one fast paced year.

I took him for his first hair cut in months, that’s his (our) Redskins jacket hanging on the coat rack by the door.


He taught Bear how to use the Snow Blower…from the comfort of his recliner inside the house. Bear would have to run inside to asks questions.


Dad would say “You’re doing a great job, buddy!!” and mean it.

We took my Dad to see the Nationals, the Baseball Team for Washington DC and the surrounding areas.


President Washington wins the base race!

He would spend a couple times a week at my house, enjoying the scenery and being waited on hand and foot. 😉


We would go for drives, his favorite thing in the whole wide world to do.


We would go grocery shopping together, and take a moment to stop and enjoy a particularly gorgeous VA sunset.


He would laugh at me when I asked for change to ride the horsey outside the Grocery Store.


Sometimes, he would be too weak to go inside the store. So I would leave him in the car with the windows down and tell him “Now, be a good boy! Don’t bark at people!” and he would make mad barking noises as I walked away.

And then…it all stopped.

My Father, the greatest man I have ever had the privileged of knowing (outside of my loving husband), passed away on September 5th, 2013. The family was by his side as he passed. My Step-Mom held his right hand and I held his left. My husband by my side. My little brother and his wife sitting next to me, my Step-Sister-In-Law by my Step-Mom and my Aunt at the foot of my Daddy’s bed. My Brother-In-Law was five minutes late and to this day…his heart breaks with the loss of not being there to say goodbye.

My Daddy was put in the hospital at the end of June. Eight weeks later, he was finally well enough to be transferred to a rehabilitative therapy center. He was on dialysis. He had lost too much weight. He still had moments of delusions and hallucinations. The chances of him making a full recovery were slim, the chances of him going home ever again were even less.

My Daddy put up a huge fight. He stayed as long as he could. In a moment of clarity, he even declared that he needed more time.

But he had been sick and in pain a long time. It was time for him to rest.

I spoke at his funeral. As did my little brother and my Step-Brother. I’m going to share what I spoke with you all, I’m removing his name and replacing it with ‘Daddy’.

Once Upon a Time…

That’s how most of my Daddy’s stories began. From as far back as I can remember, to as recent as a month before he died.

I could stand here and tell you a great many things about the man who was my Father. Many of them you would know, some you may not. But to me, the most important thing about him was his heart. I feel it was most easily seen by the stories he would tell. Sometimes they were for fun, maybe they were to make a point, and other times they were to teach. But every single time, they showed his depth of his character and his great gift of love.

The one he told me the most often was one about me. I used to think it was just an amusing story. A remembrance. Now, looking back on his life and how many people he meant something to, I realize it was much more than that.

Here is that story…
Once Upon a Time there was a NOISE.
When “Gori Rajkumari” was just a little girl, with hair longer than her dress, she decided that she was mad enough at us to run away.
So she packed her little suitcase with her favorite pajamas and stuffed animal and walked out the front door.
But I ran out the back door, to some trees between our house and the neighbor’s house.
When “Gori Rajkumari” arrived, I said quite loudly “OOOOOOooooo”…and she slowed down.
Again, I said “OoooooOOooOO” and she stopped.
Once more, I said “OOOOoooOOOOO!” and she ran for home.
I beat her there and was waiting at the door when she said “I’ve decided to give you another chance.”
And I replied “That’s probably a good decision.”

You see, my father was wise enough to know that he couldn’t force people to change their minds but he might be able to influence them in different ways. No matter what, he was always proud that you had come to the decision on your own, by your own volition. I could have kept walking, straight to our neighbor’s house…and I believe he would have been just as proud of me for that as he was for me coming home.

His life. His purpose. His morals. They all touched so many of us, in our own unique ways.

No single story belongs to just one of us. We all have an “Daddy” Story to tell. But as much as we have an “Daddy” story, I know that we also have an “Daddy” lesson.

Somewhere, at some point…he gave us more than a smile and a laugh. He shaved off a piece of his wisdom and shared it with us. To carry on.

“Daddy” loved many things in life, his family, his work, his sports, and his causes. But I think one of the most important legacies he gave to us, were the stories he told. These stories taught us something without us even realizing it.

The stories showed his love for life. They showed his love for us and ours for him. When we tell others, he will live on through us.

These stories are what make my Daddy immortal.

So….Once Upon a Time, there was a man named “Daddy”…

There was also a poem that one of my Father’s good friends read at the service. It was one that had comforted my Step-Mom and when she had shared it with me and asked me if I thought it would be a good verse to use at his service and on his memorial cards, I wholeheartedly agreed. It speaks to me.

Gone From My Sight

I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side,
spreads his white sails to the moving breeze and starts
for the blue ocean. he is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch him until, at length, he hangs like a speck
of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

Then, someone at my side says, “There, he is gone.”

Gone where?

Gone from my sight. That is all. he is just as large in mast,
hull and spar as he was when he left my side.
And, he is just as able to bear his load of living freight to his destined port.
His diminished size is in me — not in him.

And, just at the moment when someone says, “There, he is gone,”
there are other eyes watching him coming, and other voices
ready to take up the glad shout, “here he comes!”

And that is dying…

For years, my one greatest fear has been what would happen to me when my Daddy died. I couldn’t even begin to comprehend it. He had always been my best friend and my first love. He was my moral compass, my sounding board, my biggest fan, and the character in which all other’s were measured.

I felt like a little lost child, left out in the rain.


How was I to possibly live in a world in which he didn’t exist?

But so far, I am existing. It’s a different life. It is not an easy one by any means. I’m anxious and on medication for panic attacks which I had never had before. Depression lurks around every corner…I stave it off with light and laughter. But I also fear that I am holding off the heart breaking task of mourning for my father. My Step-Mom says that I must be patient with myself, that everyone grieves differently. To let it come as it comes.

But I fear I am not doing it right.

My Doctor says that my anxiety is coming from pent up emotions.

So obviously, my grief is mashed up inside there, cramped and shoved down…


This year I was manic in my shopping. I adopted a senior and a child in need and spent the love and money on them that I would have bestowed on my Daddy.

I spent the day with my family. My Mom, my Husband, my little Brother and his Wife, my Aunt, my Step-Mom, and my Step-Brother and his wife.

I did not cry.

We all recollected stories about my Dad. The funny things he said and did. The Christmas Gifts we had surprised him with over the years. A saw, a coat, a pair of glow in the dark crab boxers.

We shared love with one another.

So…this is my second post this year. It is also my last for 2013.

I hope next year is better. I hope I can come back and write more. Share life with you all. Inspire. Challenge. Grow.

Till then….

Happy New Year my friends and loved ones.

Till we meet again….

©2013 Gori Rajkumari


Merry Christmas 2011!

Well, it’s my 3rd Christmas in India!

A family tradition is to tell a small (or large in the case of my Dad) story about Christmas past.

Here’s mine….

My younger brother and I would spend the last month of the year trying to out do each other in the “being good” department.  We would have debates on whether Santa really had his vision cloaked when it came to bathroom visits (ie:  could he see us in there or NOT) and argue incessantly about which of us was going to stay up longest to see Santa on Christmas Eve night without our parents (or Santa) catching on that we were awake.

The late night shenanigans would usually start with us pushing the bed time to as late as we could without missing the window in which Santa visited our corner of the world.  Then it was off to bed to whisper to each other through our bedroom doors about whether that creak we just heard was Santa or Dad coming up from downstairs.

One year is famous in our house.  We had a split level home, with a small but grand foyer for the front door.  You could go down to our rec room or up to the main floor with the bedrooms and kitchen and dinning and where the Christmas Tree’s stood, one on either side of our fire-place.

That year, my brother and I were at it again, working hard at keeping the whispers down and speculations flying.  Checking to see if someone was sleeping or not (major coup if they were).  But this one year something totally new and unexpected happened.

That was the year that our Dad scared off Santa Claus.

You see, my Dad worked a swing shift and so would sometimes come home after midnight.  That year was the year that he was due to come home at midnight and then would have Christmas Day off and not go back to work for 3 more days.  It was a huge deal for us….since Dad worked a majority of the holiday’s because the pay was so much better.  So, my little brother and I added the speculation as to whether Dad would see Santa on his way home from work.

Imagine our surprise to hear our Dad at the front door saying “Hey!  Who the heck are you and get OFF my ROOF!”.  Then we heard rustling on our very roof, right above our rooms!  “Ho Ho Ho!” was the reply.  Then our Dad again “Ok Mister!  I’m coming up and there and when I do you better be GONE!”

Well, that was TOO much for my brother and I, who barely made it out of our beds without breaking our necks, ran down the hallway towards the steps and the foyer, screaming “NO DADDY!!!!!  It’s SANTA CLAUSE!!!!!  Don’t scare him away!  He’s got our presents!!”

It took my Dad a good half an hour or more to calm us down and get us back into bed and feigning sleep.  We lay there, waiting for the sun to come up and when it did, we plowed into our parents room, screaming that it was Christmas and to wake up and we needed to see if Santa had come!

Thankfully, he had.  Our presents were under the tree.

Thus began the tradition of our Dad’s run in’s with Santa, his helpers, his reindeer or presents accidentally dropped in the front yard with neighbors names on them “They must have fallen out of his sleigh as he drove over head.” was my Dad’s response to our questions.  But mainly it started that early morning waking of our parents tradition that we still carry out.  To this day and as full-fledged adults living in our own homes far away from our parents, my brother and I feverishly watch the clock and wait for that perfect 6am moment when we can call our Parents and wake them from deep slumber to say ” It’s Christmas!!  Wake up!!!  We need to see if Santa has come!! ”

So with that in mind, I give you this to enjoy as your Christmas Present from Bear and Gori.  Merry Christmas to you all and a Happy New Year!  See you in 2012!!!



© Gori Rajkumari 2011

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas


‘Twas the Night before Christmas’ Poem

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

“Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”


Have a Merry (Cow) Christmas!!! ;)

I didn’t get much of a chance to post today as we had power but no internet (ahhh BSNL…how I love thee…not).

I HAD planned on writing this awesome and totally ripping piece on the joy and love of Christmas, things that I missed about back home, the celebrations that we have here and our plans for Christmas….

…..but my feet are cold and I’m only dreaming of getting under the covers with my hot water bottle while I wait for my husband to come home from work.  🙂

But I couldn’t sign off for the weekend without wishing you all a very….

Merry Christmas!

With love....Bear and Gori

Christmas Memories

Ceramic Christmas Village

At this time of year, when I most want to be with my family and friends back in the US, I do everything I can to make the season bright and happy.  That means decorating and incense that smells like cinnamon and plenty of strings of lights both inside and outside the house!

Last year, Bear and I purchased what I called our little fake Charlie Brown Christmas Tree, as once you put it together the limbs and trunk are so sparse and pathetic it was truly sad to behold.

Charlie Brown Christmas

Thankfully we had some idea that this would be the case when we bought it, so we also purchased thick sparkly garland and bright multicolored twinkle lights.  The tree only hold a few of my Hallmark Christmas Ornaments but we use the remainders as decoration around the house.  We have a Santa and his Reindeer poster that we put on our wall and I have a few other holiday decorations that we put up here and there.  We also decided to spend this month watching Christmas movies and listening to Christmas music as often as possible.  I’ve even found some really old and cheesy, made for TV Christmas Specials online that I’ve downloaded so we can watch along with our DVD Christmas Movies.

We’ve also made ourselves a Christmas Promise which I’ll tell you more about in the next blog.  I know, I know….you’ve been waiting for Bear’s blog and I promised that.  Well, it’s still coming it was just delayed a bit.  😉

Since I spend so much time away from Bear when he’s at work, I have to find other ways to keep up my Holiday spirits.

I thought perhaps I could accomplish that by telling you my family traditions from when I was growing up.

So, let’s see….where to begin.

Let’s begin at the beginning I suppose!

In the US, most family’s follow the tradition of decorating the house for Christmas the day after (or weekend of) Thanksgiving.  Mainly because this is when everyone is already together and off from work and you now have an abundance of slave labor to lug out Christmas Trees, Ornaments, Lights, Decorations and the like.  Husbands, brothers and Uncles are dragged away from their football game to put on Coat, Hat and Scarf to go outside and listen to Grandpa tell you how they used to string up the lights when he was in charge of decorating.  Now he’s an excellent director of manual labor.  When my Grandparents were alive, this was the general hubbub of Christmas, except that was when we spent it with them up in Northern Indiana where they almost always had a white Christmas.

The times when we were home for Christmas, my Mom was stuck with my Dad, brother and myself.  When my brother and I were young we were gung-ho with the Christmas decorations and more than willing to go outside in the freezing cold to spend two hours wrapping lights around the bushes or railing in front of our house.  We would love spraying the fake snow on the windows.  Putting the electric candles in each window.  Checking the batteries in the Merry Christmas Wreath lights that hung on the front door.  Making the ceramic Christmas Village in our bay window like the one above.  Baking the Christmas Cookies.  Even putting up the Christmas Tree.

That is, we were happy to do it until Christmas TREE became Christmas TREE’S.  Plural.  Yes, by the time I was 16 and my brother was 8 we had been putting up four perfectly decorated Christmas Tree’s for several years.

Yes, I said perfectly decorated.  Actually, one downstairs was the ‘Family’ tree and we could decorate that one any way we wanted to with any old decorations we wanted to use.

And that was our favorite tree….and always the last one we did.  Usually by the time we finished with everything else, we were so exhausted our tree barely got anything put on it…but that stuff we did put on it was full of love and happiness.

You see, once upon a time my mother used to be a reasonable, logical creature who thought that Christmas Decoration should be all about fun and whimsy.  Each year we would make our own decorations of popcorn on string or paper looped garland, wooden clothes pins painted to look like tin soldiers or ballerina’s, crotched snowflakes dusted with silver sprinkles, angel hair tinsel, and thousands of multi-colored twinkle lights. My mother was a very talented craftsman and artist.  She taught me and my little brother how to do ceramics and often we would make ornaments for the tree or for gifts to other people.  She would take us with her to the local Community Center and we would fire our ceramics in their big kiln.  My mom loved finding new recipes to cook food that would tantalize our noses, or she would come home with new cookie cutters for us to make different shaped cookies.  She would walk around in her Christmas sweatshirts singing Christmas songs under her breath.  It truly was a magical time.  What we would call an Old Fashioned Christmas.

And the FOOD.  Ohhhh the food.  My Mother had chosen to get Christmas Plates instead of Wedding Anniversary Plates as Christmas was her favorite time of year.  So every year before Thanksgiving and Christmas we all would raid the china hutch and then sit around the table polishing and cleaning the good silver cutlery and serving dishes while my Mom would wash the china and the crystal and set them out to dry on towels on the kitchen counter.  Then back in the display case of the hutch they would go until Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Dinner came around.  Every week before Christmas my mom would cook one truly special and spectacular meal.  Her famous pot roast, corned beef and cabbage, spaghetti and garlic bread, Homemade Macaroni and Cheese casserole or Fried Chicken with white gravy and buttermilk biscuits.  My Dad would also have his chance as he could fry steaks on the stove that turned out almost as good as the grill outside could make them.  He would make French fries in the oven and broccoli with a special velveeta cheese sauce that always made everything taste better.

And then Christmas Day would come and my whole family would be sure to put on their ‘dinner’ pants that morning after getting through with opening presents and taking showers and the early morning nap.  We called them dinner pants because they were attractive, stretchable and elastic wasted pants which let the stomach expand!  My Aunt – who is (btw) the world’s GREATEST homemade food cook – would show up with the family staples.  Homemade coleslaw with our Great Aunt’s secrete recipe sauce and Honey Baked Ham with a crunchy Maple Crust and Butter Bread crumble top Three Cheese Macaroni casserole (this was SINFUL and usually the first to go) along with her homemade potato rolls.  My Mom would still be busy in the kitchen with the Turkey roasting in the oven, also stuffed into the oven would be the Oyster Bake Casserole and Bread and Celery stuffing.  On the stove top there would be green beans frying with bacon and slivers of almonds, another pot filled to brimming with garlic mashed potatoes and warm white gravy made with Turkey broth.  On the counter there would be three different pies cooling:  Pumpkin, Apple and Pecan.  In the fridge there would be fruit salad and punch spiked with sprite.  The house would smell like coffee and cinnamon and there would be laughter heard over the lightly playing Christmas music in the background (or Dad’s football game downstairs).

Turkey Christmas Dinner


Christmas Dinner Ham

We had a few family traditions that were yearly mainstays, like going to see the live Nativity Scene on Christmas Eve and then to church to sing a hymn and wish everyone Merry Christmas.  At home, we made sure to watch on Christmas Movies the whole week of Christmas.  Us kids were put on “Fruit Cake” watch to see which one of the family or friends were going to try and drop the ‘Traditional’ and about 30 year Fruit Cake tin on our front step.  It was a tradition that started with my Dad’s sister got a Fruit Cake in a tin, which she despises, so she put it on someone else’s front porch and then they did the same and so a tradition was began.  You did NOT want to be the one who got it on Christmas Day as it was yours to take care of the rest of the year till one week before Christmas the next year.  I bet that thing is still making the rounds.

Christmas Fruit Cake Tin

“Going a Visiting” was another family affair.  This was when our parents made us get all dressed up in a new Christmas finery and go with them to call on friends, neighbors and people us kids didn’t’ know but hated because they pinched our cheeks too hard and we had to grin and bare it.  Also, those people invariably had plastic covered furniture and no toys for us to occupy ourselves while they and our parents “visited”.  So, we would sit there in our wools and leotards and try not to squirm from all the itching that was going on.  I won’t even discuss the Mary Jane shoes my Mother would make me wear but in one word, torture would suffice.

Itchy Holiday Finery

Mary Jane aka Torture Devices

Shopping was a family affair with one or the other of our parents until I was old enough to drive and be trusted with the purchasing of my own gifts for everyone (one year I made my mom buy my Dad purple parachute pants for his birthday and thus started the regulation of gift buying by my Father).  With my Dad, his big focus was on getting something special for my Mom.  With my Mom, her focus was on getting that special something for Dad AND getting his gag gift as well as the gifts for everyone else in the family.  Daddy always foisted this part of the shopping off onto Mom….buying the presents for everyone else.  Hence, my poor father was always sure to have at least ONE gag gift present under the tree.  My favorite one year was the Pez dispenser that was a Reindeer that ‘Pooped’ out a different shade of brown jelly beans.  My Dad even played along and filled that thing and showed how it ‘worked’ to my squeamish Aunt.  Classic.


Jelly Bean Poopin' Reindeer

When my brother got old enough to get mouthy (aka talking back to his elder sister), the fights of who got to put Baby Jesus in the Nativity Scene began.  My mother first tried to alleviate this with having us draw straws but then one or the other of us would start complaining that the other cheated somehow.  Finally, she said enough and we began alternating.  Even with the squabble, placing the baby Jesus in the Nativity Scene was a happy time for us.  It was then that we remembered it was for God that we celebrated Christmas and everything that that stood for.

Nativity Scene

Then on Christmas Eve, my family would have dinner while watching Christmas movies downstairs in the TV room.  My Dad would start a fire in the fireplace and we would sit around in our PJ’s and wrapped in comfy throws watching It’s a Wonderful Life and The Bishop’s Wife or Christmas Cartoons about Frosty the Snowman and Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer.  Finally, at eleven my parents would try to send us off to bed.  It would last about half an hour and usually end up with the threat that Santa Claus would pass by our house because we weren’t in bed by midnight.  This (and our full belly’s) would send my brother and I upstairs to get Santa his plates of cookies, glass of milk and carrots for the reindeer.  Hey…they did a lot of work and needed to eat too!  In the morning, there would be cookies and milk missing and half chomped carrots would be found outside in the snow.  Of course, it didn’t stop there, my parents would stay up wrapping and putting together the presents that were strictly from Santa to be placed under the tree.  It was a huge trouble for them to find new hiding places every year because my brother and I became more proficient at looking as we both grew older.  The things my poor parents did in the middle of the night to make sure that my brother and I maintained that feeling of Santa being real lasted years, even after we no longer believed in the REAL Santa and only what he stood for.

But then our neighborhood went from being middle class to upper (and more upper) middle class.  My  father made an excellent living monitoring huge machines and vats and new computer equipment for one of the east coast’s largest Pharmaceutical plants and we were proud of him and his work.  But there were Doctors and Lawyers and Politicians and big Business Owners moving into our little neighborhood and all of the sudden my Mom had to start competing with the other ladies.  My Dad later explained that some of them were rude to Mom and made her feel little for having a nice house with money made by a husband who worked with his hands and brains instead of just the last.  Either way, those people moving in was the beginning of the end of simple Christmas’s for my family.

Thus began the week-long decoration fest at our house.  Gone were the days of decorating the house in the mid morning and finishing up before dinner of the same day.  Now, we started on Friday after Thanksgiving and were still going strong till middle of the next week.  For a few years we tolerated it because the ornaments were really cool and she did buy some that were strictly for us (I got the Rocking Horse series and my brother the Cars of the World).  However, after a few years my brother and I began to drag our feet over decorating the house.  Arguments would ensue.  My brother and I wanted an old-fashioned Christmas like we used to and we wanted the house totally decked out in thousands of multi-colored twinkle lights.

My mother wanted her four precisely decorated trees, in color motif’s to match the rooms that they were in and with the same amount of designer and store-bought collectible ornaments, all white lights and garland to match the color of that particular tree.  She favored Mauve and Cream.  One year she brought home a string of mauve tinted cream pearl strings that were to be wrapped around the light mauve colored garlands and then draped in exactly the right place on the tree.  Also, each tree took four or more strands of 100 foot lights in white.  Why?  Because our tree’s were over 7 feet tall and my Mom wanted them to GLOW.  It took two hours to get just one of those fake, 7.5 foot tall tree’s up and perfectly placed with all the limbs fixed.  And that was just putting the damn things UP.  That didn’t include the precisely placed, store-bought collectible Christmas Ornaments that had to be hung on each tree in a specific place.  Some of them even had to be hung next to a special strand of lights as they were “Light and Motion” ornaments that needed to be plugged in to the strand in order to work.  Then, each tree was TIED by fishing wire to the wall so that there were no chances of an accidental toppling over.  This protected the investments…I mean expensive ornaments.  Every year she got new ornaments.  Every single year.  Hence the 1 tree turning into four.  By the time I had moved out at 20, those trees were heavy with ornaments and she had plenty in the boxes waiting for a place to put them.

But I will say we had the most beautiful house and decorations in our neighborhood….even IF my Daddy didn’t make his money sitting around on his ass!

Not Our House but just as simply Pretty



And with that….I leave you with the trailer from one of my favorite Christmas Movies.