Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Annual Children's Christmas Party

When growing up my father was a member of our hometown Lions Club. He'd go to meetings on designated Thursday nights. A few times during the year there'd be formal Club events he and my mother would attend. I loved watching my mother get dressed for those occasions. She'd do her hair a little fancier. Wear a dress fit for a Princess and dab some Toujours Moi perfume behind her ears. From a blue velvet jewelry box she'd choose a sparking piece of jewelry. The end result was an amazing transformation of a woman who'd go off to work nights as head nurse in the ER dressed in her starched uniform to a woman I felt for sure was the most beautiful woman I'd ever seen-going out the front door for an evening of dancing with a handsome Prince. But the most memorable Lions Club event of the year was the annual Lions Club Children's Christmas Party. That's when my siblings and I got to dress up and go with our father for the evening to a real restaurant with all the other children of all the other members. It was chaos. Noisy. Exciting. The restaurant was located in our downtown. All the tables were set with white table cloths. We got to order Coca-Cola. We never had soda in the house so that alone made the night worthwhile. The meal was the same for all of the children-usually hamburgers and French fries. Then there'd be dessert followed by the singing of Christmas Carols as a man played a piano. Needless to say, the highlight was the arrival of Santa Claus. Once he sat down, we'd be called up one by one. After a few minutes, Santa would be handed a gift to give to whoever was on his lap. It took me a few years to figure out why some were marked with a "G" and some were marked with a "B". After Santa made his exit, a few more songs were sung. Then we'd get our boots and coats back on, and with our hands holding a gift and small candy canes, we'd follow our father out the door, get into the car and head back home. That was fun too because all the stores were decorated and Christmas lights were everywhere. If it was snowing, it was even better. Looking back, I'm certain all the mothers left at home enjoyed that annual event just as much as the children.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Cork Gun Christmases

This post has nothing to do with politics and guns and where one stands and why this and why that. Rather, it's all about a favorite present my older brother received a few Christmases in a row when we were little and certain Santa was responsible for bringing us the best presents in the world. It was a game. It came wrapped in a horizontal-shaped box. It had to because inside waited a cork gun, a steel rod that he'd have to fit into a block of wood at both ends, and plastic-type crows. That rod would be the fence on which he'd sit his plastic-type crows. Their 'feet' fit around the rod so they looked like they were sitting on a fence-waiting to be shot by a little guy thrilled with Santa's present. After all the gifts were opened, he'd construct his fence in the dining room. Then, still in his pajamas, he'd sprawl out on his belly and start shooting. I'd be the one fetching the crows that went flying when hit by a cork. The best part of fetching the corks was when he gave me a turn at shooting the crows. More often than not he didn't have to fetch too many because my eye was off target most of the time. But I didn't care. I was just having fun with my older brother on Christmas morning.