That’s what the blonde says:
“I’ve got all sorts of things on it for little kids.”
I can name you four reasons for that.
A nephew, Jason and wife Christina, are flying in from Denver with Chloe Michelle, 7; Colin Jacob, 4; and Clara Houston, 1.
A fourth reason is Aiden Lloyd. He’s four and great-great nephew.
Banks Cotton, a nephew, is suddenly no longer a kid, but he will be here Christmas Eve along with his dad Mark. So will his sister, Anna Laurie, who is also quite suddenly no longer a kid, but on her way to being a dazzling beauty.
Brother Terry (the preacher) and wife Gail are driving up from Omega, Ga.
Christmas is a homecoming
We’ll have our grandsons here as we did before they grew up and went off to school, got jobs elsewhere, and married.
Riley, the oldest, will drive up from McCalla with wife Ashley. Tyler, the middle child, will drive from Tuscaloosa with wife Melissa. Baby grandson Cody (he is also a Houston) will drive up from Tuscaloosa, but will go through Montevallo to pick up a young lady by the name of Jessica.
Others will come, hopefully . . . Mary Jo, Avis, Katy, Amy, Vickie, Kelli.
Throw in those spouses lucky enough to marry into my family and the place will be rocking long before Prancer and Dancer come flying through.
Christmas is a tree ... a story of remembrance ... told before, but not this morning.
Our first “store bought” was from Sears, the last year it was in what is now the Calhoun County Administrative Building.
I named her “Ellen” off a movie where two married people met once each year for some “bed Olympics” which had nothing to do with their respective spouses.
“Ellen” and I, well, we met each year, too. She in all her greenery and glittering lights. On the nights she came out of her 11-month hiatus, I’d pull up a chair and we’d talk into the wee hours of the morning. In those hours, she was not a tree, but a friend and confidant.
Twenty years or so later, a growing-shabby “Ellen” found her way to the county landfill.
Christmas tree, part II
She was a skinny tree, looked fairly presentable in lights, but never got as close to me as “Ellen” did. I think the blonde felt the same, naming her “Gaudy Maudie” and sending her to be with “Ellen” after just three years.
The newcomer You could call her sort of middling-plump, but she’s seven feet tall, came with her own lights (love it), and in the corner of the living room, is surrounded by presents (Visa is having a good Christmas, too), she awaits what should be our best family homecoming in several years.
I’ve been sitting and talking with her as I did with “Ellen,” but as yet she has no name. Maybe I’ll just call her that, “no name,” but she sure is a beauty.
“Our kids” will be here along about 3:30 Monday. We’ll open presents and say things like “Oh, how cute” and “Oh, you shouldn’t have.” When the Visa bill hits the mailbox in early January, I’ll be saying “Oh, WE shouldn’t have.”
Once presents are opened, we will gather at an old round Oak table for a “sit-down” dinner.
Then, around about 7:30, the “second shift” will begin to drop by. And, along about midnight, whoever has drawn kitchen duty, will be cleaning up ... and I’ll be in bed with visions of sugar plums dancing in my head.
By February, Visa will be full up with holiday payments, “No Name” will be tucked away in the storage room, and I’ll be counting down the days until the next ...
So ... Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
And May God bless ...