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Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Christmas Tree In Every Room

Each year, we had at least two Bar-B-Ques, one at Thanksgiving and one at Christmas. The Bar-B-Que at Thanksgiving was on Saturday and was for all the employees and business associates of Mama and Daddy. The one at Christmas was on Christmas Eve and was for family and friends. We had about a hundred people at each. We would spend all week getting the house ready and two days getting all the food ready. Mama would take some of the guys from the shop (Central) and put them to work at the house. One year, Al Miller (a young black guy that worked at Central) told Mama, “You’ve owned slaves before, Haven’t you?” It was always a busy and exciting time.

At one of the Christmas Bar-B-Ques, someone came out of the bathroom and I heard, “Oh my goodness, she even has a Christmas tree in the bathroom!” Mama had a Christmas tree in every room. The kitchen... living room... bathrooms... bedrooms... everywhere... We kids even had our own trees in our rooms. The trees ranged in size from 2 feet to 6 feet. Mama had a tree with seashell ornaments. One had dove ornaments. One had all homemade ornaments. One had all Victorian ornaments. One had all red and white ornaments. One had all Santa ornaments. She had a tree made of holly decorated with ornaments. She even decorated some of the houseplants!

Mama loved it. Holidays were another reason for parties, gifts and food with family and friends! Christmas was especially magical. Mama went all out. I remember one year Mama came home with Christmas sweatshirts. Mine read, ‘I Believe in Santa Claus.' Mama’s read, ‘I Want It All.' Charlie’s read, ‘Bah Humbug!’ Mama’s one requirement for Christmas morning presents was that you believe in Santa. Mama and I even had our picture taken with Santa.

One year when Charlie was about 6 years old, he came in and told Mama that there was no Santa Claus. She questioned him and then called everyone in the room. She said, “Listen up! Charlie has come in with the idea that there is no Santa Claus! That is not true! There is a Santa and anyone who does not believe in him...well, Santa won’t bring them presents. Is that clear? And I mean it! Clear?” Well, later Mama pulled us (except Charlie) aside and said that it didn’t matter who Santa Claus was or where the presents came from. It was the love and giving of the Christ-mas season. But the presents did come and as long as we said we believed we’d get presents. It didn’t matter if we were married or 50 years old, Santa would always come for us. What a concept! And she meant it. Jim and I got married (now my ex-husband) and she told him the same thing. That first Christmas, Santa brought Jim a recliner! The next year Jim told Mama at Christmas time, “I believe!”

1 comment:

  1. Your Mama and I MUST be related! That is exactly the same speech I gave my children and grands, too! I also have trees in every so nice to know I am not alone in this!