I come from humble farm stock. And my parents approached most seasonal traditions in a very wholesome, pious manner. They never wanted to confuse us by giving us a lot of things we’d enjoy — you know, because they didn’t want to make religious holidays about things we’d enjoy.
So they took us to church instead so we could unenjoy ourselves while playing hangman on the offering envelopes.
My Christmas Past: Oranges in our stockings? New work boots? A boat Pa whittled from a scrap of balsa wood? Oh, thank you, Ma and Pa! And God bless us, every one!
Okay, so I got toys for Christmas. I got a bike once. And a couple of Cabbage Patch dolls. And maybe a pair of coveted Guess brand jeans. But I can assure you that, in between, there were plenty of socks and flannel sheets and, God help us, books. And I can’t even confirm whether I received the Guess jeans as a gift because actually now I think I just willed them into existence.
And, folks, that right there shows the power of prayer.
My Easter Past: Hard-boiled eggs we get to dye? And then we get to give them back to you so you can hide them in the backyard without us ever having to believe in the Easter bunny bunk? Oh, thank you, Ma and Pa! And God bless us, every one!
Okay, so I got a lot of candy on Easter. Here’s how it worked. My parents gave us hard-boiled eggs. Mmmm. What a treat! Then later I ran next door to my best friend Katie’s house and ate all the things she didn’t want from her Easter basket. If I was lucky, she’d sever me a limb off her chocolate bunny. Mostly I think it was just marshmallow peeps encrusted with plastic grass. You know, leftover crap. I never once received a ribbon-clad rabbit or any sort of fancy crystallized sugar egg. Nor a mechanical chick walking in place while popping out of an egg. Nor a real chick walking in place while popping out of an egg.
I got a real egg though. And it even tasted just like a real egg. Except maybe a bit yolkier.
Look closely at this photo. Notice anything pathetic? Besides the heat-stricken dog who’s overdue for a haircut.
Perhaps you noticed the yellow Tupperware bowl that I used to collect our hard-boiled eggs. Oh. The basket my brother is holding? I think I got that from a Sunday school teacher. She probably felt sorry for me. So my brother and I had to share it between us. Probably had to set an egg timer to tell us whose turn it was to hold the genuine Easter basket. That would make sense anyway because the egg timer was already on hand, having just been used to make the eggs.
Note there is no plastic grass in that Tupperware bowl. My eggs probably rolled around and knocked together until a couple of them cracked open. And then they probably rotted inside. And then I could’ve eaten them and died.
I suppose someone could’ve kindly pulled out some grass from our lawn to stick in there. But the grass probably had fertilizer on it. And it would’ve spread to the eggs. And then I could’ve eaten them and died.
I would be eating tainted food, but my soul would remain untainted by holiday commercialism. And when I died, I’d go to Heaven. Win-win! Amen.
By the way, while you were reading this post, I thought it might be a nice touch if I played the world’s
tiniest tinniest violin.
That is, I thought I’d play some sympathy string music simulated on my circa 1983 keyboard that I got for Christmas.
Oh, you didn’t hear that? Yeah, that’s because then I remembered my parents never gave me a keyboard for Christmas. Nope.
Even balsa wood has its limits.