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Christmas presents, past.

Up to age 10, my Christmas memories are all one big bundle. I can’t tell for sure whether I was five, or six, or nine, when I got certain gifts that I can vividly remember getting - and I wish I still had. Let me tell you about the top three.

The first is a Tonka Toy garbage truck. Gleaming white steel. Black, hard plastic wheels. When I got it, I immediately started collecting the shards of gift wrapping paper all around me, stuffing it into the back with the force no-less equal to that of the huge hydraulic jaw on a real garbage truck - proportionately speaking. The rest of that winter, while it was cold and messy outside, I played with the truck inside, carrying Legos, rubber balls, matchbox cars, and plastic army men from one part of the house to another; and when it warmed up, I took the truck outside to haul stones, dirt, mud, and all kinds of yard debris to "the dump," which was under a bush, or behind the garage. (I didn’t haul real garbage; too yucky.)

For a while, a rubber-band-operated submarine and I were inseparable. I probably took a bath every evening just to play with it in the water. Even as a kid I could tell that it wasn't well designed: winding up the tiny propeller was tricky, and it spun out in a half second with hardly any push behind it. So, I made up for it by pushing it with my hands, which was not as fun, but far more effective. I remember wishing I could fit inside. [Submarine Alarm Sound] DIVE! DIVE!

Finally, one of my fondest memories of Christmas is when my younger sister gave me my very own toy fire truck. To make it clear, it already was my very own toy fire truck, she just wrapped it up and gave it to me. I have to ask her if she remembers my reaction to receiving her well-intentioned gift. I like to think that I didn't get angry or upset, but I was young, so maybe I wasn’t very kind. I hope I was. (It's a pleasant memory for me - maybe that indicates that I wasn't a big butt-head?)

Thank you for letting me share these memories with you. Thank you for being good friends.

A very, Merry Christmas to you all. May the season bring new memories that last a lifetime!

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