Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Dylan Thomas, Christmas, New Orleans, and Me

I remember my childhood Christmas celebrations by presents and relatives.

The earliest Christmas I recall must have been when I was three. My mother, at her wit’s end by my constant pulling of pots and pans from the shelves, prevailed upon my father to buy a toy set, which was interesting, but not as interesting as the jack-in-the-box my father had searched New York City for, or the Davy Crockett coonskin hat (with faux racoon tail) that was all the rage because of the television series with Fess Parker. The Christmas puppy arrived when I was six. The Lionel model train came when I was seven. The “big boy’s” bike (26-inch wheels) showed up when I was 9. The bb gun came at 10. The last remembered present was a chess set using the characters of Augustan Rome – Augustus for the king, Livia for the queen, and Cicero for the bishop. I still have it.

And the relatives. We lived in New Orleans, my mother’s hometown, and she came from a large family. For years, our suburban ranch home was the place for Christmas dinner, for no other reason that it had a large den that could hold everyone for dinner. My mother would always make the pies and the fruit salad. My father would cook the Christmas turkey and make oyster dressing, which everyone in the family raved about. Except me. I wouldn’t eat it, possibly because I saw what the raw oysters looked like going into it. 

To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.

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