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ALL I WANTED FOR CHRISTMAS WAS………

During my early years of grade school, I had a hard nut to crack trying to get it across to my family and Aunt Mae what I wanted for Christmas. For years, I did NOT WANT ANOTHER DOLL! They just didn’t get it. I WANTED A FOOTBALL. Same ol’, same ol’ every year, 2 tall boxes would be under the tree. Not wide enough for a football, that was for sure. Another year, another doll, and I was getting awfully bored having to play house with my younger sister, Viveen when I wanted to be across the street on the High School lawn playing tackle football with the boys.

Maybe it cleared up a bit when I ran into my friend, Lennie, sporting a new football he’d received for Christmas one year. It was like waving the matador’s red cape in front of the bull’s nose, but it happened to be under my nose, and just like the bull in the ring,…I lost it! I punched Lennie out, grabbed the ball, and raced ….and let me say: I could run very fast…..for home, while Lennie, I know went in the opposite direction to his home trudging along… crying his little heart out. It served him right for getting a football.

When I reached home, I raced through the house to my bedroom and ducked under the bed with football in my hot little grasp …scoring a touchdown combined with a home run …. And probably wondering “what next?” Well the probably “what next?” happened. The doorbell rang, Mom went to front door. Who else could it be but Mrs Tanner, with her wimpy, tattle-tale son, the object of my lightning fast right fist, Lennie, hiding behind his mother’s skirt. Then I heard Mom’s loud yell for me to get out there this very instant. When I heard the tone of her voice I knew it was going to turn into a bad scene…for me, that is. I got out there, and was put through the third degree, then went back to bedroom, retrieved the football to very reluctantly place it back into Lennie’s waiting arms, and his face still tear- streaked. They then retreated from the premises, and goody for me, I was left with my outraged Mother —- with flames shooting out of her ears and nostrils— or so I imagined.

Mom had about 3 degrees of spankings: hard, harder, hardest. I expected what I got. And you can make a guess …No. 3 is quite correct. It was very unfortunate that this series of events didn’t happen in late afternoon because later in the day my Dad would be home from work, and Mother might very well have said: “George, you give her a good spanking for all this bad behavior. The very idea — taking Lennie’s football alone, but no, she punched him. You take care of this because I have to get back into the kitchen to continue with our dinner.” All that would have been music to my ears. Viv and I loved it when Dad was sent to mete out the punishment. His spankings were soft as a feather, but we would yell and scream like he was killing us … all the while he was smiling at us, and we with him. It was a game we played, and what great memories it brings of all the love there was in that home. (I have mentioned Dad’s spankings in previous writings.)

So I learned something in my young life that day: Don’t bull doze someone over if you want what they have, you could break your own finger(s)…. do it with finesse, make an offer they can’t resist, or just plain old “mop” it when they aren’t looking.

To this very day, I have never received a football for Christmas.

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