Wednesday, December 24, 2014

My Favorite Kid Christmas

As I've noted before, mine was a very lean household. My dad, thinking obviously kids don't need to eat or have new clothing, never really managed to pay child support. Back then, the state wasn't really a partner in making parents pay, so my mom never took him to court to up the amount. As she said, "a larger chunk of zero is still zero." It made for a number of lean Christmases. My grandparents would help by getting me clothing and necessary items, a bit more than my cousins, so my mom could focus on the fun stuff.

One Christmas I wanted a particular doll, a doll called Velvet.  She had blond hair that would be long, but then you could turn a dial in her back, and her hair would get short. Depress a button where the belly button would be, and voila, long hair again. I was mad with desire for this doll. It was horrifically expensive in relation to my mom's budget. I don't know how or where she found it, but she found one in horrible shape. The hair was matted, she didn't have shoes or clothes. Garage sale? Maybe. I don't know.

What my mom did was put her in a dolly chair one of her friend's husbands had made, and she wrote a letter from Santa and attached it to Velvet. The letter said Velvet was almost left behind because the elves hadn't quite gotten her ready in the Christmas time crunch, but Santa heard her crying. When Santa went to her, Velvet lamented that she'd never have a little girl to play with, because next year was just too late. Santa hurriedly took Velvet with and gave her to me, because she knew I wouldn't mind, and I would take extra special care of her.

Of course, I did. Velvet stayed in my possession long after other dolls were given away, and I still have the letter somewhere. For my mom, a logical, reasoned, absolutely by the numbers kind of person, it was the best Christmas gift I ever got.

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