The pleasures of Christmases past

Advice from Mom
By Rita Lessard

I really love Christmastime. Unfortunately, we celebrate it in a season that, at times, is not so pleasant, especially when the snow is flying and the visibility is so bad you end up in the ditch, which is what happened to my sister and me on Monday, December 3. Fortunately, a Good Samaritan from Hensall came by and gave us a ride to Huron Park, where we made arrangements for a tow. Thank you, kind sir.
I can easily forget about the weather and concentrate on this glorious and happy occasion. As the years go by and we are getting older, times change but our memories are still with us. The hustle and bustle I experienced when the boys were young are no longer. I have many good memories, so I will share a few with you.

When your kids outsmart you
I always considered myself a fairly smart person, but when you’re smart and have children, they tend to be smart, too. As it turns out, some of them can outsmart their parents.
I’m not saying all of my sons were devious, but our son Mike was always curious and he outsmarted me every year when it came to peeking at the Christmas presents. Every year I would use a different mode of operation. I’d hide them, but he’d find them. Then I changed tactics and used different coloured paper for each kid or I would number-code them or letter-code them.
Well, none of these methods worked. Mike didn’t care that I was so smart and organized because he didn’t really take the time to figure out what I was doing; he just opened all the presents and saw what everyone was getting and rewrapped them. I didn’t learn this until many years later, but I can honestly say I had fun trying to outsmart him, and I miss the excitement of doing all that shopping and gift-wrapping. Now our Christmases are more sedate but fun and the memories are still good.

Watch out for that tree
Putting up the tree was always a fun family affair; it wasn’t always a masterpiece, but it was the joy of doing something together. The one year, we were a little concerned about putting the tree up too soon because we had a cat and we figured it would either knock all of the bulbs off or, worse yet, just knock the whole tree down. We’re a trusting family, so we decided to give the cat a break and put up the tree anyway. Now Tom, our wise leader, didn’t agree and thought we should wait until Christmas Eve so the tree would be safe. This was one argument the kids and I won; the tree went up early and we were in the spirit of Christmas.
A week before Christmas, all the decorations were on the tree and the house was decorated and all was going just swell. Tom decided to celebrate early and shared some Christmas spirits with the neighbours. It was rather late when he got home, and being the considerate guy he is, he didn’t want to disturb us non-partygoers. He sneaked into the house and kept the lights off. He didn’t need to worry because the cat was there to guide him through with his watchful eyes. (I’m told cats can see in the dark, so like they say, Lead on MacDuff, and the cat did.) Soon enough, we heard this awful crash and it wasn’t Santa. No, it was Tom toppling into the tree. Holy cow, wasn’t that a sight? I got up to investigate and sure enough, the fool was ensconced in our lovely tree. I helped him up and he grinned sheepishly. I said, “I guess you were right, Tom, about putting the tree up so soon.” In the years after that, we didn’t have the cat, but Tom was still around, so we had more fun Christmases to look forward to.

On a final note, I noticed that our little village of Crediton doesn’t have its tree decorated and our Santa and reindeer aren’t up this year. It was lovely to look out my window and see this display. Thanks to Jordy’s, we have a wreath erected on her sign. Maybe if I talk to the right people, we can do something festive next year.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to one and all. Thanks for taking an interest in reading Casey’s paper (I love that man) and see you next year!