Blog: Memories From Christmases Past

Burt Ross

I don’t know why “Memories from Christmases Past” sounds so much better than “Memories from Past Christmases” but it does, and that’s all there is to it. 

I feel sorry for the kids today. If the poor little tots can find a mall that’s open, they are going to have to stand at least six feet away from Santa, and Santa could even be your Aunt Tillie, because she will probably be enclosed in a hazmat suit.

Even though I am Jewish, I celebrated Xmas when I was growing up, as well as Hanukkah.  The fact is I happily celebrated any holiday where gifts were bestowed upon me. Far be it from me to pick and choose between holidays when I was the beneficiary of them all.       

I had no desire to wait until Xmas morning before discovering what my gifts were. Dad would bring the unwrapped gifts home and keep them in the trunk of his car before hiding them in a basement storage room.  When Dad was not looking, I would “borrow” his car keys and take a quick look in his trunk. If no opportunity arose to pilfer his car keys, I waited until he went to work and hightailed it down to the basement where I had more time to inspect my parents’ largesse.

When Xmas morning finally came, I grabbed each present and before unwrapping it gleefully announced its contents. I even told my brother what he was about to open. My folks and brother Phil were not the least amused. To this day I don’t understand their displeasure. I am a practical sort of fellow, and don’t comprehend why gift wrapping is even necessary. The value is in the gift itself, not in its surprise.     

For instance, do I care whether somebody tells me they are going to give me $10,000 (this never happens not even in my dreams) or they just show up at my front door and surprise me with the same $10,000?  I am equally appreciative in each instance. 

If you would prefer being surprised by the unexpected $10,000, then try this on for size—you have a choice between being told you are going to get $100,000 or somebody surprises you at the door with a gift of $10,000. If you still prefer the $10,000, I can only assume you have experienced material setbacks in your life.

In any case, I have digressed as I always seem to do. Please enjoy whatever holiday or holidays you celebrate whether you receive gifts wrapped or unwrapped, and even if there are no gifts at all.