Back then, I waited on pins and needles. Not “tenterhooks”.
I’d never heard of such a word.
When I was a youngster, the big stress of Christmas was waiting.
Waiting to put up the tree.
Waiting to to see the traditional lighted candy canes line the neighborhood streets.
Waiting on Christmas Eve to spot Santa in the sky as my sister pointed.
Waiting to get home from Christmas Eve services to open presents.
Back then, the magic simply happened.
Beginning around 3 or 4 decades ago, it was I who became the magician, the puppeteer, the puller of strings to recreate a tradition.
Today, the magic for me is seeing the joy, the excitement and the sparkle of light in my grandchildren’s eyes as they witness the marvel of Christmas as it “simply” happens.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the inspirational news article written in 1897, please read, Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus
So recently, my one-year-old granddaughter came to watch me box (see picture below). As many of you know, I love boxing. Not competitively, of course. I do it for fitness. We hit pads and bags, practice defensive, etc. We kick, too, but being a good kicker is not in my DNA. Let me explain.
My paternal grandfather was a carnival boxer in the early 1930’s. That meant he would seek out the carnivals and would box the “main” contender. If he won, which he usually did, he earned 5 buckeroos.
In the later 1940’s, my Dad boxed for the Army as Kid Dennis. I still have his boxing bag, gloves, and trunks that read “Kid.” (The story of Dad’s boxing retaliation against my grandfather is a major plot thread in my novel, No Hill for a Stepper.)
Dad quit boxing when he married my mother but continued the sport by becoming a referee. When my sister was born, he gave her little blue boxing glove rattles. After my parents died, and when my sister and I had to sort through the house, I found them! I told my sister, “I’m keeping these!” (she didn’t fight me for them). Now, I keep the little rattles in my boxing bag for inspiration.
Here’s my granddaughter holding one of the little rattles.
Baby and Me
Do I think my granddaughter should continue the tradition? It matters not. What does matter is that she learns to defend and stand up for herself. And, as Dad often reminded me, “pay attention to your surroundings at all times.” Sound advice.