Hello folks – here we are in December again! I’m always pretty conflicted when the holiday season rolls around… Christmas was always my wife Mary’s magic time. Sometimes it seemed Mary was in the Christmas mode all year long. She was either considering a gift for someone or wracking her brain thinking of a gift for someone. It didn’t have to be the perfect gift… but it did have to be one that Mary felt would specifically be for one certain person. The boys and I got a whole bunch of presents from Mary… not expensive gifts, that was never her style, but always personally wrapped herself. (By the way… in our little family, you couldn’t give a gift you didn’t wrap yourself… NO STORE WRAPPINGS!) Getting a really raggedy wrapped something-or-other from a 3-year-old was as good a present as a dad or mom could get.
Christmas morning with Mary was chock full rituals that were followed to the letter every year. Stockings were dealt with first… kinda controlled mayhem as our boys went from one wonder to the next… getting more and more excited. Then… a pause for breakfast.. with my two boys wolfing it down, anxious to get to the main event…. opening the presents.
Each of us staked out our territory – where we were gonna be, and then John, being the youngest, ran back and forth from the tree giving each person their loot. Once the presents were stacked in front of each of us, then, starting with John we proceeded by age. He would open a present, show it off, perhaps play with it awhile.. and finally would then point to Brian… and on and on and on. Like I said… everyone got LOTS of presents. Even though we arose early on Christmas morning, it still took till noon or later to open the presents. Ah… what a time.
What I mean about being conflicted at Christmas time is this….. Mary passed away on Dec. 18th. So it’s always a little difficult at this time of year now. It’s fun to remember those Christmas mornings, but then……I miss her very much.
You can find me in Williamsburg, Virginia this New Year’s Eve, performing for the Williamsburg First Night, and then I’ll be in Maryland January 1st and 2nd……..check my website for the latest schedule. I’d love to see you there!
I always like to include a song that I’ve recorded at the end of these messages to you: this is a song which is in the Cowboy Hall of Fame, as perhaps the greatest Cowboy Christmas song. It’s certainly my favorite. It was written by my dear friends Wendy Waldman and Carol Elliott……
However you celebrate this time of year, I wish you all the happiest of holidays!
Your friend in songs and stories,