Denny sent me this wonderful story and it pulled at my heart strings when I first read the story. Enjoy!
I was just remembering last night (someone else’s story on TV reminded me) when I got a train set for Christmas. I was pretty young–probably younger than 6. My dad was just a big kid himself and he was using the train so much that I wasn’t getting to use it. I started crying and my mom had to intercede so I got to use the train some. My mother took some pictures of Dad and me and that train set on that Christmas morning. That prompts her to tell that story every so often and how she had to break us up so I would get to play with “my” train set.
Another Christmas story: My dad was just a big kid and he LOVED Christmas. He loved being the Santa who laid out gifts for us kids. I imagine he barely slept on Christmas Eve because he couldn’t STAND to wait for us to wake up on Christmas morning. He would come to the bedroom door and announce, “Santa has been here! Come see what Santa brought!” He handed out the gifts and read the tags and opened his only when there was a lull in the action or when we had opened all of ours.
My dad loved dogs, so through the years, any dogs that were family members participated fully in Christmas, opening their own gifts or helping with the opening of the gifts of others. Buddy, a Lhasa Apso mix, really preferred to be left alone with his gifts. No help, please. We would wrap a little doggie treat for him in tissue paper and would just roll it up. It was supposed to open with just a tug, but he usually started on the side so it wouldn’t roll very well. Once when my mother went to help by grasping the corner of the paper with her thumb and forefinger to try to give the package a little tug, Buddy paused (still holding the gift in his teeth) and put one paw on Mom’s hand. Then he continued wrestling the paper off the treat. ‘Nuff said.
In my dad’s Alzheimer’s years, he still enjoyed Christmas, although I’m sure he didn’t really get what was going on or remember in the last one exactly who these people were around him. He enjoyed watching us open our gifts. He remembered how to open his, but he had to be reminded sometimes that he hadn’t finished opening the one on his lap. He would chuckle at each comment or gift (whether his or someone else’s). Mom had him write on the card they gave to me. He didn’t exactly remember what he was supposed to do because my name was upside down on the wrong side of the envelope and his name was inside the card, also upside down and on the back side of the card. I had to look all around the card to find it. Mom told me later that she’d coached him to do that much and left her name off after he’d done that. He got many chuckles on his last Christmas because each time he saw his new gifts, he would touch and hold each one over and over again. And each time he touched them and realized they were gifts for him, he smiled all over again.
Thanks for prompting the memories . . . Made me smile . . .
Denny in Arizona
I hope you enjoy this story as much as I did! I’ll share some more holiday memories and traditions later, so don’t forget to send in your stories to share!