PATRICK MCVAY

WRITER

My Musings

This text is currently hidden by a css change. Alow's me to go directly to the category description because it is editable in the front end,
Font size: +

Ghosts of Christmas Past

When I was a kid, I felt ripped off at Christmastime because I didn't get to wake up on December 25th and tear open presents like all my Catholic school friends were doing. Instead, my family was on the road, spending the holiday in Quebec at my grandparents' house.

I loved my grandparents – they were enormously kind people – but limited space in our Country Squire station wagon and evil Canadian border guards who seemed ready to confiscate our belongings meant that only a few small gifts could be brought with us, to be opened by the relatives.

Bear with me, it gets worse.

While my friends had gone to bed early on Christmas Eve without a complaint, knowing that the sooner they fell asleep the sooner Christmas morning would arrive, my early bedtime had no such rainbow on the other side. Instead, I was cruelly roused out of my slumber at 11:30 and made to march with my sisters in the frigid cold to tiny St. Patrick's church, where I tried to stay awake for Father Boudreau's scintillating celebration of midnight mass.

The reward – an all-night "Reveillon" back at my grandparents – with ham sandwiches, sugar pie, and adults drinking and cackling until daylight while we kids played with the Victrola and watched TV – was no substitute for the excitement that my friends experienced of waking up to piles and piles of presents brought by Santa on a sleigh.

I received little sympathy for this unfathomable injustice: several times I was reminded that not only was I not denied gifts, but actually got to open them early, since we always departed for Canada a few days before Christmas and opened our gifts before we left home. Still, all the great stuff I had received – like the electric football table that vibrated to move the plastic statuettes of players across the field – was out of reach hundreds of miles away due to crazy rules that border guards apply to wreck Christmas for kids like I used to be.

My mom, a wise woman who realized the opportunities that these annual pilgrimages presented, soon implemented a new tradition: when it was time to leave for Canada and we were all piled into the car with no handheld devices to stare at – she would declare that she needed to pee, then disappeared for 10 minutes. This awfully long bio-break was simply a ruse to fill our stockings with gifts, such that when we returned from our grandparents' place, we'd discover that Santa hadn't forgotten us after all.

OK, so maybe my childhood wasn't quite so awful. As Christmas night 2022 turns into the day after Christmas, it occurs to me that what we had back then – grandma and grandpa, plenty of good food, and the part where they shake you awake on a cold night to attend a mass that I despised –was magical in its own special way. 

Grassy
Bait And Switch
 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Tuesday, 23 April 2024

 

 

Daily Haiku

 

Cats oft’ void their guts.

They cough out fur balls. They puke.  

We tread carefully.  

 

College Tuition

We dig ourselves a deep hole

Need a second job.

 

Now that I’m sixty

People think I’m a wise man

Probably, I’m not

 

I’m in my Fifties

But tomorrow I’m Sixty

Will need a sports car

 

My PCP Says

“Keep doin’ what yer doin’”

Prob’ly I should not

 

It’s St. Patrick’s Day

We eat beef that has been corned

Whatever that means

 

Robots and A.I.

I will make use of these soon

To do my taxes

 

Strange Oscar night end

Pacino failed to mention

Best pic nominees

 

Who’s this Katie Britt?

Scary. Wierd. We could have used

A Trigger Warning

 

Subscribe To The Blog

Produce This Audio Play!

Ever wanted to produce a radio play?  Think you have the mettle?  Read on!

Tag Cloud

Skiing Guns and Ammo My Parents Work cornhole Soccer tambourrine Spoon the band Car Dealerships Plastic Snow Guns Bicycles Wind Theater Canadiana Cats The future baseball Marketing Gimmicks Belgian Ales Chowder Vaughn Candy vacation midwinter vacations Accounting BB King Mom and Dad punk music China Coyotes Masks Football Golf Brewing town square US Senate Godfather Soup Bands I've Seen Emergencies Ice Dancing Stories I should write Short Fiction Zoom The Past Big Shoes Vaccines Liz Phair Climate Change Bunker Hand Planes Fiction Imaginings seasons Halloween Music Roommates I've Had Bob Dylan COVID-19 TV Rock Bands Grass Skiing Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde Dad advice plan mid-winter vacations Stairs Bikes Good Reads Them Kids Bodysurfing Audio Audubon Bar Reveillon Hurricanes Cars Hot Air Balloon Hache Verde 1980s Trump Earth Food afterlife Brain Surgery Rabbit Hole Butterfingers Hawaii Soviet Union Mustard Pats Skating Beer NPR Bands I haven't seen Mass General Hospital acerbic high school principal College Head injuries Tom Waits soapbox rantings The Future Bill Monroe Peacekeeping Sugarbush Ticketmaster Red Sox Existential Crisis Art Religion Scotch and Sirloin Advertising Eclipse Eating and Drinking Higher Education Knots Royal Stuff Ketchup high winds My sisters Me People I know coronavirus Texting gathering throngs the future Teeth The Old Days nukes Allergies My Estate Putin winter COVID weather Real Estate the sea Motorists Sports Ukraine Yeast My grandparents Syracuse Spice Girls New England Barber Shops Cornhole star Radiohead NFL War and Peace curling shoes Folk Music Martinis Politics As Usual Communication Channels Things I've done Quebect When I die First World Problems Boston Elvis Presley Reese's Peanut Butter Cups Email Joan Jett Canada Weather technology Biden Christmas Europe Bands I've seen Drumming Soul Coughing Diseases Mike Doughty