Well, it is that time again when we reflect back on the memories that we shared so long ago and yet, we hold so dear to our hearts.
Back in the late years of the 60s through the mid 70s when I was young, the day after Thanksgiving always started the Christmas season. It was the same almost every year what my parents and I had to go through just to get the perfect Christmas tree.
My father and I would leave early one morning going out on a quest, looking for a balsam fir or a cedar, so we could bring it back home. After walking for a while in the woods, even as a child it seemed it was forever until my father could make up his mind which one he wanted.
Finally, out there in the distance, we found the perfect Christmas tree. I was cold and wet, because it started to snow as my father was cutting down the tree.
To this day, it was hilarious watching him cutting down and pulling that 14-foot cedar tree through the woods, so he could tie it on top of his 1968 Volkswagen. I remember he still held on to his beer can while doing everything else.
Being a young child at the time, I thought it was kind of funny. As we left the woods, driving back to the Danville city limits, it was a sight for sore eyes.
Hanging our heads out of the side windows and hoping and praying there was no one in front of us, here come my father and I in his 1968 Volkswagen traveling down Riverside Drive with at 14-foot cedar tree tied on top from bumper to bumper.
It was a scene out of Chevy Chase’s “National Lampoons Christmas Vacation.”
We drove up North Main Street onto Third Avenue to our home where my mother was waiting on the front porch. The neighbors that day were amazed how my father and I were able to do a stupid stunt like that.
Please note: it was legal back in the 60s and early 70s, but it is not legal today.
We untied the tree, pulled it across the front yard, up the steps and with help from our neighbors, we were able to get the tree in the house, down the hallway into the den, and finally set it upright.
After all of the things that me and my father went through that day, being cold and wet from the fallen snow, covered with tree sap from head to toe and being stared at as we were traveling back home with the tree – it was a good day.
After my parents and I decorated the tree, the house and yard, we all got dressed to go to town on Main Street where all the activities were taking place.
My mother made sure I was wrapped from head to toe, so I would not be sick for Christmas, even though I looked like I was ready to burst. We made our way to the numerous stores in Danville such as Sears, Rhodes Furniture Store, Woolworth’s and Leggett’s Department Store. Looking through the windows of the department stores with excitement and overwhelmed with joy, Leggett’s was famous for the mechanical mannequins, which were dressed up to perfection for that special occasion.
I saw Mr. and Mrs. Claus looking over the list of boys and girls and what they wanted for Christmas, the reindeers as they were eating their dinner, and the elves as they were building the toys such as ships, trains and toy boats.
That was the highlight of the evening, seeing the mechanical mannequins and being able to go and see Santa Claus and tell him what I wanted for Christmas.
Remember, it is not the presents we get or the parties we are having during the Christmas season, it is Jesus Christ who was born in Bethlehem. He is the reason we celebrate Christmas.
Spunkie the Monkey and I are getting ready for the 2018 South Boston Christmas parade.