Visiting Ol’ St. Nick

Do you remember taking your kids to the mall to see Santa? Hoping in vain that the line didn’t stretch all the way back to Terre Haute? All the screaming, crying and whining, and that was just from the parents? Oh yeah, those were the days.

Recently, I saw a picture of a toddler who had fallen asleep while waiting to see Santa. St. Nick wisely asked the parents not to wake the little guy. He arranged himself on his chair, with the toddler in the crook his elbow, as if they had both fallen asleep while reading The Night Before Christmas. It was a spur of the moment photo, that I’m sure the family will treasure for many Christmases to come. I’m pretty sure Santa will treasure it as well, since the photo went viral, and turned him into an instant celebrity.

To be honest, I don’t remember much about my visits with Kris Kringle when I was little. I vaguely recall hitting up the reindeer driver with a laundry list of expected presents, before turning over his lap to my sister, or one of my brothers. I can’t even remember where we used to visit the big guy. Since Eastland Shopping Center had only been built two years before I was born, I don’t think we would have been to Hudson’s to see the jolly old elf. More than likely, we went to another local department store, such as Federal’s, where my Aunt Aurilee worked. However, I do know we saw St. Nicholas, I have photographic evidence.

Santa has played a prominent role in many movies over the years, but none as great, at least in my opinion, as in A Christmas Story. If you are somehow unfamiliar with this classic, our intrepid hero Ralphie is on a quest for a Red Ryder BB Gun and seeks out Mr. Hohoho’s help in a last-ditch effort to acquire his blue-steel beauty. However, Santa hits him right between the eyes with that famous line, “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.” Ralphie is crushed.

Given the state of the retail industry these days, I’m concerned that many Mall Kringles may be cast out of their work-homes and onto the streets. This will certainly start a turf war with the Bell-ringer Santas, who have already staked out their territory at local shopping centers. This could get ugly. So the next time you’re at your local mall, give Santa a wave from me. Who knows, maybe next year the fat man will be fighting it out on the mean suburban streets. Peace on Earth, indeed.

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https://redtri.com/funny-santa-pictures/

Christmas Eve Bowling

What’s Your Holiday Tradition?

All families have their holiday traditions. Our family has Christmas Eve Bowling. It all started back in the sixties, when my two brothers, sister, and I were just little bowlers. A few years earlier, Christmas Eve had become the big day around our house. Keeping four hyper kids from doing midnight recon missions on Christmas Eve proved to be too much of a challenge for my Mom and Dad. The solution was to move the main event to Christmas Eve, after dinner. Even with the earlier start time, I can only imagine the pandemonium my parents had to put up with. That’s when they hit on a brilliant idea. Take the kids up to the local bowling alley and leave them there!

And that’s just what they did! I was about eleven years old when Dad took us up to the Fantasy Lanes on the east side of Detroit and left us there one snowy Christmas Eve afternoon. Then he hurried home to help Mom finish the holiday preparations. Being the oldest bowler, I was left in charge of these temporary orphans. I really don’t remember much about that first bowling competition. There’s a good chance that I threw my weight around a little, drunk with my Dad’s gift of Christmas Eve Authority. As we grew older, the tradition eventually faded away.

However, when my oldest son Jeff was three years old, and my brother Steve’s son Bret was two, we decided to start it up again. Since then, this annual bowling event has grown in size to include my other brother and sister, their kids, and their kids’ boyfriends and girlfriends. Since Mom and Dad have passed on to that big bowling alley in the sky, they are surely attending in spirit. Smiling down on us, as we continue the cherished tradition of Christmas Eve Bowling. A few years ago, one of Dad’s trophies was added to the competition. The Jerry Walker Lambert (J Dubbs) Trophy is fought over every year with great relish. Merry Christmas, Mom & Dad! We love you and miss you!

In recognition of the holiday season, this blog is going on hiatus until after the New Year. Please check back on January 3rd for a new posting. To you and yours, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year!