Saturday, December 22, 2012

Day 1103

If Christmas is for kids, then I guess it is Christmas memories that are left for the adults. My own memories are a bit muddled at this point, but I still have a few. I remember playing Joseph in a live nativity scene at some point in the distant past. I remember my parents taking me to visit an old German woman who was a friend of theirs. The lady decorated her tree with real candles. Even though I was very young, I distinctly remember thinking "why hasn't this house burned down yet?" I remember getting an electric train for Christmas when I was a young boy. I have no recollection about the type of electric train or what happened to it. I'm sure my mother gave it away. There is just a vague, pastel memory of waking up one Christmas morning and finding a train under the tree. Later in life, I bought another electric train, but lost interest almost as soon as I got the train working and discovered how much room the layout took up in the living room.

One Christmas, shortly after being hired at my first real job I took a real train home for Christmas, I rode the Great Northern Empire Builder from Seattle to Chicago and then changed trains to take the legendary Santa Fe Super Chief the rest of the way home. It was an epic journey through Glacier National Park, the frozen great plains, the Chicago city center and the American heartland. I think it was the last time I went home to Arkansas for Christmas. It's hard for me to tell anymore whether I'm remembering the way things actually were, or the way I wanted things to be. I remember one Christmas in Alaska when Dad took us to cut down our own Christmas tree. We came home with a magnificent 16 foot tall pine, but I can't remember whether the tree came from deep in the forest or if my Dad just cut down one of the neighbor's trees by mistake. I remember Janet and I going to a comedy club in Las Vegas on Christmas Eve once and listening to Rich Hall tell us that spending Christmas in Vegas was a lot like spending Halloween at the Vatican. We don't do that anymore.

Christmas in recent years has been pretty low key. Most of the presents under the tree are for the dogs. Dot and Dash know that the gifts are for them and have even learned how to open them. Even though they are just looking for something tasty to eat, they remind me of little children on Christmas morning. They attack each package with wild abandon, and gleefully accept the treats inside. It's fun giving presents to dogs, because they are always appreciative.

I tried to keep my weekend errands to a minimum today because the traffic is horrendous. I picked up some things for the house at Home Depot, and got a few more essentials at Sam's Club. I didn't go anywhere near the shopping malls. I'm going to avoid the shopping malls until well after Christmas.

Daisy is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day