The Best Christmas, Ever

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Time for my annual Christmas story.

Best Christmas Ever – 1971
I wrote this back in 2007, for my personal blog on MySpace.
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We were telling Christmas stories at work the other day, and I told my “best Christmas ever” story.  After I told it, I thought it might make a good blog, so here it is.

The location: Visalia California, the house on Divisadero Street, just down the block from the junior high I attended (now called a “Middle School” for reasons known only to the bureaucracy of schools).

The year:  1971   8th grade  Jim is 14 and knows Santa’s secret identity.
Top item on the Christmas wish list:  A 10-speed bike.

I had spent MONTHS hinting, suggesting, begging, pleading, and pretty much making a pest of myself asking for a new 10-speed.  Each time it came up, the parents made it clear that they were just too much money, and I was “not going to get one…. sorry.”  Well, Mom said “sorry”, Dad just said “NO”.  They wouldn’t budge. Not even a “maybe”, or a “we’ll see”.  Always “NO”.  By around December 15th, I had pretty much written off the bike, since, as we all know very well, parents don’t lie to their kids!  I don’t recall if I had a back-up wish list or not, and can’t recall anything else I might have asked for or wanted, but I do recall wistfully wishing there really were a Santa, because if there was, I might very well get that bike!  {Big sigh}
Well, Christmas rolls around, and despite being a worldly wise and mature 14 year old (aren’t they all?) I had a bit of trouble getting to sleep Christmas Eve.  I finally drifted off, and didn’t hear any commotion in the living room all night.

The time:  the crack of dawn, Christmas Morning.

I woke before anyone else, even my two younger sisters.  The sun was up, but just barely.  I tiptoed down the hall, turned the corner into the living room, and stood there in utter shock.  There, in front of the tree, was a brand new, shiny green Schwinn 10 speed bike!  (I know, you saw that coming, but bear with me)

I sat on the end of the couch, and stared at it for probably 15 minutes.  I just could not believe it.  They had so completely convinced me that I was not going to get the bike that I was just totally blown away.  I finally noticed that I was sitting there in my underwear, and I was starting to get cold.  I decided to jump back in bed, so I made my way back to my bedroom.  I laid there in bed for a few minutes, not even able to really believe the bike was there.  In fact, I was so afraid that it was just wishful thinking, or a dream, that I got up, went back into the living room and touched the bike, just to be sure it was real!  I went back to bed for a while, and waited for everyone else to get up.  While I lay there waiting, I was just in seventh heaven.  I got my bike!
That also set the stage for never completely  believing my parents again when they said no…..  but I don’t  think they thought of that at the time!
Oh, and the very first time I rode that bike, later that morning, I promptly ran into the back of a parked car, while trying to watch the gears change!

Good Christmas holidays before and after, but this is the one that I will always think of first.  I hope your holiday will be a good one.

Holiday Dinner at Ted and Mychal’s

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Ted and Mychal hosted an intimate holiday dinner Saturday night at their condo in Fresno.  A small group of friends got together for some of Mychal and Ted’s great cooking!  Chicken, beef, vegetables, mashed potatoes that may have been the best ever, and desert that was a little bit of heaven.

Ted made a banana pudding for me, since I had been talking about a holiday tradition in our family, but this was something else!  It definitely wasn’t my momma’s banana pudding!  Mom’s was always great, and I love it, but this was something new.  Very tasty, Ted will have to make it more often, now that he’s hooked me on it!

Some more pics after the jump.

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