We always did our thing the night of Christmas Eve. It must have had something to do with my folks’ work schedule.
When I was 4 we lived in a 6 family flat off of DeBaliviere. We lived on the 3rd floor.
My parents had a cruel sense of humor. My dad would read stories to us in the bedroom. My mom would bust into the room yelling, “Quick, quick, Santa’s here, you’re going to miss him!” My brother and I would run out and find the front door open. “He just left, you can still catch him!” We’d run all the way downstairs but we’d just miss him.
This was the same year I learned about Christmas stockings. I’m not sure where I found out, probably TV. I took a pair of my dad’s black socks so my brother and I would each have one. I took my dad’s because he had the biggest feet, and nailed them to the wall. In retrospect I should have gotten in trouble, but instead we found a pair of real Christmas stockings hanging in their place the next day.
This was when toys were fun. I got a
One of my favorite toys was a bazooka that shot an invisible ball of wind. We soon discovered you could fire rocks and dirt from it. It didn’t last very long on the market. I think it went the way of Jarts, those giant lawn darts with the steel tips.
There was a pattern to the way gifts were distributed around the tree every year. The smaller gifts would be opened and there’d be 2 left. My brother’s always came first. One year it was a train set. I was crushed. There was only a small box left under the tree and nothing could be better that a train set. I was wrong. Mine was a walkie-talkie set. This was the early 60s and we didn’t have high tech toys back then. For the next couple of weeks we were the Man From U.N.C.L.E..
Another year my brother opened his and it was a toy drum kit. I was convinced nothing could possibly beat this. I was wrong again. I got a chemistry set. I wanted desperately to become a scientist. This was where I got the ingredients for my gun powder.
That same year there was a present under the tree for me from my father’s best friend Bill Shear. It was totally unnerving because he had been dead more than a year. It was a really cool electronics project kit. I later found out his wife
The Christmas before my dad died my girl friend Jill and I had my folks over for the holidays. I gave him a trumpet and I’ll never forget seeing tears well up in his eyes. I inherited it of course.