2022 · Advent Adventures: 24 Doors of December

Advent Adventures: The Door to December Fifth, 2022

Door to December 5th, 2022

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Dear Kringles,

December is moving pretty quickly. We’ve already passed through four doors, and we have twenty doors left to go.

I’m gonna let you in on a little secret…I suck a wrapping Christmas Gifts. Despite efforts made and time spent I wrap only well enough to get by. I conceal the gifts but I’m not wowing anyone with my esthetic.

I am very impressed by those that can wrap beyond well and make it look easy.

I wrap tales. So, I’m gonna wrap this up by asking you to open the door on an old family Christmas Drama. I hope you enjoy.

CPH

 

Open…

 

MY MOTHER’S CHRISTMAS WRAPPING WAS REALLY TIGHT(S)

When I think back to childhood Christmases kid, another one that always jumps out in my memory, is the one where my sister almost missed her choir gig on Christmas morning because of a wardrobe malfunction. During the 1980’s they didn’t have altar girls, as they do now, at least not in my parish, so the only option for girls was to join the choir. So, I would be up at the front of the church with my boyos, and my sister would be up in the balcony with the Pipe Organ blaring, and good ol’ Tom Hickey (no relation) cutting verses quite dramatically. His performance always stirred me and was easily imitable and a great source of hours of fun recreating his vocal stylings among my peers. Two of our favorite pastimes were imitating him, and also imitating our parish Shepard, Fr. Mahoney.

From an altar boy’s perspective, I was jealous that we not allowed up into the church balcony. It was off-limits to everyone but the choir. When I think back to the days when the church was full to capacity both above and below, it gives me a chill to think of the hymns and prayers collecting in the stratosphere of the church ceiling. I bet it was loud. It never happened on my watch, more’s the pity.

At any rate, I digress…one fine 1980’s Christmas morning, as the hush had fallen over our second-floor North Mead Street apartment, my sister and I had awoken to the delight of a living room full of treasure. This surely was some form of devilry. We had only gone to bed eight short hours ago, and the living room was empty. Barren, except for the blue ringed light of our gas heater, the snoring of hour Irish Setter Katie, and perhaps the singular orange glow of my Mother’s Newport lighting the room as some form or Northern Star to light Santa Clause’s way to our home. Yes, you could hear her even and enjoyed breathing of her cigarettes, making menthol memories. My father, likely asleep, and she, anxiously awake because everything had to be just right. In retrospect, and having experienced the dance myself, I regard their preparation and execution of holiday happiness delivery to have been of a master’s skill level.

So we awaken, quite surely, not too long after they turned in. And we explode from our rooms into the living room. Full of piss and vinegar, and candy cane vigor. We stormed to our designated spots. I’ve made mention in prior blogs about how seriously my mother took this holiday, and the presentation of the presents. We were lovingly spoiled, and there was no deterring my mother of this. It was a “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” situation. I suspect that there was a strong matrilineal legacy of gift giving. My Mother drove it to an excess, and I am grateful for all of it. At times, I wish I could convey that thought to her now.

Well, despite her proclivity to procure piles of presents for each of us; the run up to Christmas Day, came at the expense of other domestic requirements. With all the wrapping of presents, and house cleaning for our family’s visitation on Christmas Day, and the preparation of food for the feast, the laundry would pile up. If you can remember nothing else from this post, then it must be the fact that the laundry had piled up, because without this one detail, what transpired after my sister and I had awoken to the victory of a living room of presents, cannot be belied by the actions that usurped our opening and enjoying those mysterious gifts.

Now I can’t recall exactly what time it was, but it was around 6:30-7am. And that is a rather large BUT, because much to our chagrin, we forgot the fact that we couldn’t open presents until my sister had gone across the street to church and fulfilled her obligation (luckily, I had completed my obligation the evening before on Christmas Eve).

Yes, you read that correctly, after a year’s worth of anticipation, we had to wait at least three more Goddamned excruciating hours before we could touch present one.

This should have been quite simple, but it was not.

My Sister was directed to get dressed for church, but it was soon realized, much to my parent’s chagrin, that she did not have the requisite tights to go with her outfit, bought special just for the occasion.

Well, my parents were fit to be tied by Goddamned tights. And you see, this is where that piddly little detail of the piled-up laundry comes to play; there were no laundered tights. All the tights were “in the laundry”. Well, one certainly does not go out into the Winter Wonderland, wearing a Christmas Dress, without the warmth of white tights. God knows, he simply knows, and so does Fr. Mahoney. I don’t believe he did spot checks, but there was a dress code.

So, impatient kids, sleep deprived parents, no coffee made yet, piles of laundry, a litany of finger-pointing, a few “Nooooooooo, fuck yous”, and there we were.

Finally, my parents held a very animated but whispered conversation accompanied with contorted faces, and the realization that a solution was in sight. My father came and led us out of the living room, and down the hall to the dining room, where we were threatened with recourse if we dared go back to the living room. He then returned to the living room. We were simply thinking WTF, before WTF became a universal acronym.

Not soon after he had disappeared, we heard a frenzy of activity coming from the living room we just vacated. My mother channeling the spirit of an old-time prospector tore into my sister’s pile of presents with a determined focus. We could hear the tearing of paper, followed by what I can only imagine would be my father replacing the wrapping as he trailed behind her. My Sister started into her crinkle cry face. Being the asshole I was, I giggled.

Apparently, in their conversation, the whispered one which we were not privy to, it was remembered that they had bought white tights as part of another dress ensemble that was to make its appearance at the gift opening revelations. But…and this is a rather large BUT, we were not allowed to open gifts until after my sister returned from Christmas Choir.

So, this one singular moment, was my Mother’s Kobayashi Maru

And I’m happy to say she passed without having to alter the test in order to pass. Sure, there were tears, wrapping paper torn, and clouds of profanity hung over our Christmas gorging, but my sister got herself some white tights to wear warmly to Christmas Morning Mass Church Choir.

When she got home, she reopened the twice-wrapped presents, and at the end of the day, the newly dirty white tights made it into the mountain of laundry in the hamper awaiting post-Christmas washing.

I won’t ever know if anyone would have been the wiser if she went bare legged to the church that day, but, and it is a rather large BUT, we wouldn’t have the gift of the memory of our mother tearing through piles of presents with reckless abandon on one fine 1980’s Christmas Morning.

 

Visit me on Facebook here: Christopher Paul Hickey | Facebook

Check out a recent post here: Advent Adventures: The Door to December Fourth, 2022 – ProCrasstheNation Also, for those looking for gift ideas for family and friends alike, please check out my brand-new holiday writing service…   Seasoned Greetings 25

Are you looking for the words to say, but can’t quite find them? Let us give you a hand during a busy Holiday Season. We specialize in writing Holiday themed poems, messages for your Christmas Cards, and even Holiday Toasts. We travel the road from holy to irreverent, but always tailor our content to meet your needs. Looking forward to helping spread some Holiday Cheer.
 
 seasonedgreetings25@gmail.com
 
Seasoned Greetings 25 – Price List
Holiday Poem – $5.00
Christmas Card Message – $5.00
Christmas Haiku – $2.50
Christmas Limerick – $2.50
Christmas Party Toast – $2.50
Festivus Grievance – $1.00
Festivus Frenemy Insult – $1.00
 
To order an original Seasoned Greeting, either email me @ seasonedgreetings25@gmail.com or DM me with a few details about the recipient to whom you’d like to send a Seasoned Greeting to.
 
I accept Venmo

 

2022 · Advent Adventures: 24 Doors of December

Advent Adventures: The Door to December 3, 2022

Door to December 3rd, 2022

 

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Dear Friends,

I mentioned in my Facebook virtual square that last year our eldest son came to us with questions about the Big Man Himself. Lenore is still ardent in her belief, but I can see cracks starting to form.

We have embodied the Christmas Spirit year after year by making the gift of giving a fun opportunity to remind people that we love them and that it can be fun to surprise others by showing them that they are well thought of.

The gifts are not the gift. The gift is the spirit of giving without expectation of something in return. The gift is helping others that need help. The gift is in spending time with people that you love. 

We were able to navigate that conversation with our eldest, and it was evident to us that the promise we made to him by teaching him to give to others unconditionally is now part of his heart. The magic of Christmas continues on for him and I can think of no better advocate to teach others the lessons of giving than our beautiful boy. He’s already become a fierce ally in the cause when helping Lenore to have a few more magic moments before she joins our ranks.

Yes Atticus, and yes, my dearest Lenore, there is a Santa Clause! And now you hold that promise in your hearts and will forever touch that light upon others. 

CPH

 

 

Open…

 

I BELIEVE IN SANTA CLAUS

As with so many things that add to the kismet I experience on the regular, here is another. Not soon after I had the conversation with my son about Santa, I heard the song below for the first time. The tears rolled down my cheeks and met the smile the slowly crept upward as Rob Thomas and Abby Anderson helped me to remember my promise to myself and my family to hold and cherish the spirit of Christmas in my heart.  Christmas is not a noun in our house, it’s a verb.

 

 

And some juxtaposition to keep you all on your toes…

 

“GIVING ‘TIL IT HURTS”

 

CONSUMER CULTURE MISREPRESENTS,

ALL THE SEASON’S SENTIMENTS.

NO OVERHEAD, THESE ONLINE STORES,

DELIVER QUICK TO UNWATCHED DOORS.

SAME DAY SERVICE,

CUTTING OUT ALL THE STORES.

MORE! MORE! MORE!

 

THE CRAZY DERANGED WHACKALOONS,

WAIT FOR EMAIL: COMING SOONS!

NO MIDDLE-MAN, BUT TWICE THE FUN.

FOUR FOR TWO, OR TWO FOR ONE.

COUPON CODES, SALES RECEIPTS,

INBOX SPAM, OR SPAMMY TWEETS.

LINING UP TO WAIT FOR “IT”,

JUST ADDING TO OUR PILE OF SHIT,

WITHOUT AN AFTERTHOUGHT.

THROW IT OUT NEXT DECEMBER.

THAT IS IF YOU DO REMEMBER,

CONSUMER CULTURE FEEDS INTO ITSELF.

I HAVE NO TROUBLE UNDERSTATING,

CHARGES KEEP ACCUMULATING,

INTEREST, HAND OVER FIST.

IF YOU FIND YOURSELF INCLINED,

GIVE TO OTHERS,

A GIFT OF TIME.

AND LEAVE THE PURSUIT OF MATERIALS,

TO THOSE SOLD EASILY,

TO THOSE SOLD EASILY,

TO THOSE SOLD EASILY,

ON EMPTY PURSUIT.

 

Visit me on Facebook here: Christopher Paul Hickey | Facebook

Check out another holiday related poem here: “O Toddler Tree, O Toddler Tree” – ProCrasstheNation

 

Also, for those looking for gift ideas for family and friends alike, please check out my brand-new holiday writing service…

Seasoned Greetings 25

Are you looking for the words to say, but can’t quite find them? Let us give you a hand during a busy Holiday Season. We specialize in writing Holiday themed poems, messages for your Christmas Cards, and even Holiday Toasts. We travel the road from holy to irreverent, but always tailor our content to meet your needs. Looking forward to helping spread some Holiday Cheer.
 seasonedgreetings25@gmail.com
Seasoned Greetings 25 – Price List
Holiday Poem – $5.00
Christmas Card Message – $5.00
Christmas Haiku – $2.50
Christmas Limerick – $2.50
Christmas Party Toast – $2.50
Festivus Grievance – $1.00
Festivus Frenemy Insult – $1.00
To order an original Seasoned Greeting, either email me @ seasonedgreetings25@gmail.com or DM me with a few details about the recipient to whom you’d like to send a Seasoned Greeting to.
I accept Venmo
May be an image of text that says '9:27 < Scan code Venmo me Show to pay Christopher Hickey @Christopher-Hickey-37 CH venmo'
2021 · Christmas 2021 · The Twelve Days of Christmas

“THE TORRID TALE OF MATTIE T-REX”

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“THE TORRID TALE OF MATTIE T-REX”

Mattie T-Rex is a party animal.

He isn’t particularly short,

Nor, excessively tall.

He stands guard at the top of a North Shore hill,

And watches people come and go.

he’s witnessed, plenty of awkward first dates,

with tennis shorts full of trouser wood,

and cuffed jorts containing moist laps,

And sweaty petite feet, sock-less and shod in white canvassed sneakers.

Left on during the thrill,

For fear that the biology of stinky feet would derail the biology of smearing groins.

At that age, urgency supersedes a lot of details.

Ahhhhhh, summer!

Ice cream cones and cotton candy.

Holes in one.

Mattie T-Rex’s fatal flaw:

He couldn’t reach the clubs,

As his arms were too short.

He never played a game of golf,

Or swung a bat in the batting cages.

He just stood watch.

The Guardian of Saugus.

One time we saw a pink hat on his orange crown.

It was slightly askew.

It’s good to know that Mattie T-Rex still stands for freedom.

And he still parties like it’s 1999.

Weylu’s gone.

Hilltop gone.

Mattie T-Rex,

Still dreaming of a birdie on the ninth hole.

2021 · Christmas 2021 · The Twelve Days of Christmas

“Ballad of the Pearl Street Ramblers”

“BALLAD OF THE PEARL STREET RAMBLERS”

Photo Courtesy of Dan Marcella – “Pearl St.” ©️ Dan Marcella 2018[[

“BALLAD OF THE PEARL STREET RAMBLERS”

I took a trip down memory lane,

To days in my rear view.

Now, none of us remain the same,

Life changed our point of view.

Those days, we saw the road ahead.

Certain, that we would win.

A future bright with no owed debt,

A treasure trove of sin.

We all hung out and busted balls,

All bastards to a T.

The Prescott schoolyard free-for-alls,

Still haunt my memory.

We lost a friend along the way.

In years there will be more.

Lifelong friendships? Who is to say,

How long they will endure?

Street corner kids just passing time,

Or time, just passed us by.

A passing thought of youthful prime,

Ends with a trailing sigh.

Of all the times both come and gone,

I will remember those.

Pearl Street Ramblers, Ramble On!

Until, we take repose.