01 December 2008


Looking back to my much younger days, my family had more traditions at Christmas time then I thought we had. Here are a few that I clearly remember.

Before going to bed Christmas Eve, left a plate of cookies and a glass of milk out for Santa.

Christmas decorations ALWAYS started going up the day AFTER Thanksgiving and ALWAYS came down no later than New Year’s Day.

Christmas tree ALWAYS bought the weekend after Thanksgiving and ALWAYS came down the day after Christmas.

Gifts from Santa were ALWAYS left unwrapped by the tree with name tags attached to them.

One and only one gift could be opened Christmas Eve before midnight mass.

My family always went to midnight mass, children under 18 required to participate. When I was growing up, my father’s job moved us around a lot. For 5 years we lived in San Antonio, Texas and attended St. Dominick’s Catholic Church. Midnight mass was an outdoor pageant affair complete with the barnyard animals except for the wise men from the East who came sans camel. For each of those 5 years, my brothers and I were forced participants in these festivities. I managed to find one surviving photo of me and one of my brothers. I was always one of the “choir of angels” and my brothers were out in the field tending their flocks. I only remember being forced to stand on a very high wooden platform ( which was hidden from view by the manger) freezing my ass off while lip syncing “Hark The Herald Angels”.

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