Mama’s Most Wonderful Time of the Year

christmas tree small

It’s Christmastime, so I wanted to come up with a good holiday themed story that would help us all get into the spirit of the season.

I failed.

However, thinking about Christmas automatically made me think about my mother who was quite possibly the biggest fan Christmas ever had. So in her honor, here are some random memories that put a smile on my face all year long:

  • Mama was a faithful Christian woman, but she was still a bit superstitious sometimes. For instance, her Christmas tree absolutely had to come down before New Year’s Day. I never understood why it was bad luck, but as I think about it, having a dried out tree in an all-wood house was a fire hazard if nothing else.
  • Occasionally, Mama would treat us to an old family saying she had learned from parents or grandparents. Most were taken from the Bible, but a couple of my favorites came from somewhere else entirely.

Especially around Christmas, if I “wished” for something, she would instinctively quote her father: “You may wish for horns, son, but you’re gonna die butt-headed.”

Mama would want me to be clear that "butt-headed" means with antlers. At least when she said it.

Mama would want me to be clear that “butt-headed” meant “without antlers” when she said it.

Then there was the time, early in our marriage, when Mama came to visit Mary and me. After trying to cut a tomato with a dull knife, she gave us a frustrated look and said: “There may be a killin’ in this house, but it won’t be a cuttin’.”

  • I’ve noticed a lot more people wearing camouflage clothes in public these days. That would have bothered Mama because she figured all camo was dirty, even if was brand new. Once, I put on a pair of pants that came straight out of the dryer and walked into the living room.

“Don’t sit on the couch with those pants on,” she said.

I explained that she had just washed and dried them herself.

“Well . . . still . . . I’d rather you sit on the bar stool.”

  • I’ve always felt a little guilty about the times I’d come home from FSU for a visit and Mama would send me back with a $20-dollar bill. She would always say, “Here’s you a little something to spend at the Sweet Shop,” which was a campus ice cream shop for decades. I would agree to do that, but what she didn’t know is that, by the time I got to college, the Sweet Shop also sold beer.
  • In order to keep my older brothers from destroying all my Christmas toys, there would be one present under the tree labeled simply, “The Boys.” This was usually a toy airplane or something else that required assembly and was meant to be used outdoors. As she was looking for such a toy one Christmas, the clerk asked her the age of the little boy she was shopping for. She replied, “My little boys are between 14 and 30.”

No matter how old we get, Mama made sure all of us will always love the holiday season – almost as much as she did.

Merry Christmas!

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