Ten authors and I have a new Christmas anthology out now: It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Chick Lit. amzn.com/B01MD197DJ NOTE: This book is currently $0.99, but will soon be perma-free.
Back in 1968-69 or so, when we were still wearing polyester bell bottoms, there was a Christmas when we had another one of those cheap-ass S-shaped trees in the sunken living room with the gold carpet. My parents believed in saving money on everything–EVERYTHING, including the Christmas tree, so they bought it way late in December, and they usually got one with not too many branches and a weirdly shaped trunk.
Anyway, Mom wrapped a bunch of gifts for all four of us, though by this time, my sister might have been married, so maybe Mom wrapped a few extras for her husband. We had the requisite oyster stew for Christmas Eve and maybe we attended a Christmas Eve service where we lit candles in the sanctuary and sang Silent Night. We all came home and Dad read the story of nasty old Giant Grummer to 7- or 8-year-old Mary and slightly older me from The Tall Book of Christmas. Giant Grummer was MEAN, and Dad loved reading about him. The giant lived in a castle made of limburger cheese. He ate pickles and drank vinegar and liked to wait until all the villagers were asleep on Christmas Eve and reach his long arm down all their chimneys and steal all their Christmas presents and take them to his castle and stomp on them. Yeah, those were the days of the best villains in kids’ stories.
Then we went to bed with sugar plums dancing in our heads.
But when we got up in the morning, there was quite a surprise. We emptied out our stockings and found the orange at the bottom like usual. But then we went to the Christmas tree and grabbed presents, eager to start ripping off the carefully applied wrapping paper, only to discover that every last present had had its original TO: ____ line blacked out, and in place of these, they all said, “TO: DAD.” We kids (and Dad) all laughed until we cried, but Mom was so mad to have to figure out what went to whom. All her careful planning and tag-writing was ruined. My dad had always had a wicked sense of humor, but this took the cake.
Best Christmas ever–well, most memorable. Just goes to show you. Be careful what you read to the kids. LOL