Simple Pleasures

Like a runaway freight train, Christmas Day hurtles headlong towards us. On one of my several trips to the fancy festive mall in town, I merged onto the freeway, slipping Pearl (my white Volvo SUV) between two trucks of a long Fedex convoy.

In the spirit of the season, I sported a thick red scarf and Pearl had a bright red bow attached to her front grill. For as far as we could see on the road ahead of us, the big white vans lumbered up the northbound lanes en route to their deliveries of precious holiday stuff.

Christmas music blasted from my old iPod, the songs transmitted through Pearl’s pretty decent stereo. I sang along, doing my very best Elvis, Brenda Lee and Chipmunks impressions; wondered for the thousandth time what the heck Bing Crosby and David Bowie were thinking; and reminisced about the not so successful figgy pudding I once baked and served to Christmas carolers who politely refrained from spitting it out on my doorstep.

As I headed to my destination, blithely belting out the wrong lyrics to just about every song, I pondered. “What goodies are the recipients of those Fedex deliveries waiting for?” “Are their pleasures simple or grand?” “On Christmas morning, will the children and their parents be pleased?”

Each Christmas season of my remembered childhood, the new three-inch thick Sears and Roebuck catalog made its appearance in our faraway mailboxes. For days on end I lay on the living room floor, hugging the huge catalog to my skinny hopeful chest, dog earring practically every single brightly colored page of its vast toy section, and reluctantly relinquishing the giant magical book only when it had to do double duty as a booster seat.

But, on Christmas Day there were no mountain high stacks of playthings under the tree, because my practical mother was selective in her economical purchases; and while we always got a toy or two, more often than not our cheerfully wrapped packages contained mundane clothing.

Every Christmas Eve, my sleepy sister and I were tumbled from our beds and clad in party dresses to honor the Greek tradition of opening presents at midnight. In our dopey state, we smiled for Dad’s camera, unwrapped our gifts and promptly returned to our rumpled beds hugging new baby dolls or, as in the case of my eager three-year-old little self on this long ago Christmas, wearing new underpants.

Simple pleasures.

2 comments on “Simple Pleasures”

  1. I wish there was a LOVE button.

  2. Merry Christmas, Susie! I hope you get new underwear this Christmas, too! xxoo

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