Saturday, December 26, 2009

Xmas past

Christmas is very different these days. When I was a teenager we would gather at an Aunt and Uncle's house . It was my mother's responsibility to get my grandmother there and I always remember the trip going there. My brother and I had a twisted sense of humor and we thought that it was absolutely hilarious to fool with "Ma" as we called our grandmother. She, like my mother had no traditional sense of humor, which made them hilarious to us. Ma would wear a heavy black coat with a wide collar and a large black hat. They would be talking in the front seat ignoring my brother and I. At the time there was a lot of movies out like "West Side Story" that featured street gangs and it was easy to tell a gang member because their collars would be turned up. Very carefully one of us would turn Ma's collar up so she looked like a gang member. The collar would almost cover her ears. We would be hysterical in the back seat looking at Ma the gang member, but in the front seat my mother and Ma would ignore the crazy boys and carry on their own conversation. After a while Ma would notice the collar being turned up and she would unfold it and of course we would reverse the collar after a few minutes and laugh our selves sick. At the gathering place we were well prepared for our uncles who believed in firm handshakes so we would give them the dead fish hand shake which is a limp, lifeless handshake. We would get a puzzled glare and privately we would laugh til we got sick. The food was always phenomenal and their was football in the tv room . Uncles would come by and give their demented nephews 5 or 10 dollars in an envelope. There are only a few of them left now and they don't gather together since Ma passed away. One thing about Ma who really never left the old country in Poland. She never said "I love You". That would not make sense to her. It would be like saying on a hot summer's day that it was warm out. It was a given-if you were her grandchild she would give her life for you or anything you needed but to put it into words did not make sense to her. Me, I don't care. I tell my kids I love them as often as possible and I don't care if it is warm outside.

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