This time of year has always been special. Family and friends gathering together, with lots of food, music and fun.
And let’s not forget the storytelling. The sharing of Christmas’ gone by. Over the years stories get told, embellished and re-told to new faces.
They are the stories that you may have heard a thousand tomes, but they bring a smile to your face each and every time you hear them, and you look forward to getting a chance to share them with someone new.
I was reminded of this recently, when a certain 8-year-old was upset that his older brothers had told an embarrassing story about him. I told him that was common among siblings, and proceeded to tell him a story from my childhood.
Probably my favorite Christmas Story … which is commonly known in the family as “The Waffle Maker Story.”
It was Christmas 1977 (I think, or maybe ’76), we were living in Ohio. I was just 2 or 3 years old. Some of my earliest memories are of our house on Bagley Road, which had a big bay window in front, and I remember looking out that window at all of the snow piling up outside (which was also a big reason we wound up back in sunny Southern California).
This particular Christmas, Mom had made it clear she wanted a waffle maker. And I don’t mean one of those little plastic things they sell now, I am talking about the heavy, cast-iron deals from Sears and Roebuck. Someone else had one she had borrowed and she really wanted one of her own.
One day while she was out of the house, Dad pulled out some stuff he had gotten for Christmas and began wrapping them and putting them under the tree, including a big box with a waffle maker in it.
As We were wrapping it up, I saw Mom coming up the walk. Dad grabbed all of the wrapping supplies and the waffle maker and headed for the bedroom. I jumped about like one of the three stooges, then followed him.
Mom came through the door in time to see us heading up the hallway. Dad put the stuff on the bed and told me to keep the door closed and not let Mom in until he had finished wrapping.
Mom was knocking on the door and wanted it, Dad was telling me not to. Mom asked what we were doing, and in the chaos, I blurted out, “You can’t come in Mom, we’re wrapping your waffle maker!”
Dad gave me his best, “You’re killing me, smalls” look and told me to open the door. When I did, I found my Mom sitting in the floor, head in her hands, laughing so hard she was crying.
And on Christmas morning she acted surprised when she tore the paper off of her new waffle maker. And we had waffles for breakfast.
To this day my sister and I will use the “Don’t come in” line when it is needed.
It is my favorite Christmas Story because it shows the kind of loving, joyful, caring house that I grew up in. It reminds me of my parents, who are no longer around, and how much they loved the holidays.
As I told this story to 8-year-old Trevor, he busted up laughing, which got me laughing. And that is what sharing your old stories are all about.
At our Christmas party a few days ago, my old friend Andrea told her favorite Christmas story, one that also included my Dad.
One Christmas Eve she was just about to set out some cookies for Santa, when there was a big knock at the door, and a hefty, “Ho, Ho, Ho!”
She threw the cookies in the air and sprinted off to bed, only to find out it was my Dad and Uncle Marv, coming to pick up a Christmas gift they had hidden in their garage. My uncle had won a three-wheel motor bike. They wound up running it around the neighborhood before bringing it home.
My addition to the story was that once they brought it home, one of my cousins wound up running it over the embankment behind our house.
As you go throughout this holiday season be sure to share your favorite Christmas story.