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A Texas Christmas
December 8 2010

From the memories of long ago, sprang this story of a Christmas thru the eyes of a child. I hope it brings back memories and you truly enjoy it. Please forgive the slang it is written in. In order to tell the story of long ago, it was a necessity to use the language of a small child.


Almost everyone, everywhere, celebrate Christmas in one-way or ta udder. . But, fer as I know, no one does it as good as we Texans. Now I ain’t puttin’ no udder country or state down, but when it comes to this particular holiday, Texans know how to party. ‘N’ they don’t wait till Christmas week either. No sirree. Fore tha Thanksgiving munchies are put in da frigerater, tha decorations are hauled outa tha attic or cellar, ‘n’ tha party begins. So, I decided to tell y’all about a Texas Christmas, cause all y’all need to experience one at least once in yore lifetime. So, please sit back ‘n’ relax, have a nip of Texas Tea, ‘n’ enjoy readin’ this little story.
Now, a Texas Christmas season kicks off with ta Dallas Cowboys football game. At noon on Thanksgiving Day. Cause that thars where ya first see Santa. He most usually makes his appearance somewhere along tha Cowboys sideline.. Then tha next time yall see ‘im, Rudolph ‘n’ da rest of them Reindeers is bringin’ up tha rear of yore hometown parade tha next day. Santa’s sittin’ atop his sleigh throwin’ candy to all da boys ‘n’ girls, cause yall all know us kids are gonna be real good until after tree day. I call it tree day, cause that thar’s when us younguns got to open all da purty packages we hadda look at for four weeks. Also, cause of tha good stuff that didden fit in no box, that Santa brought, on Christmas Eve, sumwhere tween midnite ‘n’ daybreak ya know, like bicycles ‘n’ such. Now at my home, after that thar football game ‘n’ we’d all stuffed ourselves with turkey ‘n’ dressin’, we had to go lookin’ for a tree. Maw-Maw stayed home, diggin’ out the decorations, for our tree. Me and Paw-Paw went huntin’ trees. ‘Course, just any ole tree wouldn’t do, it had ta be a special tree. It had to be real full in tha middle, and pointy at the top and even fuller on bottom. It had to have a big enough trunk to support lots of ornaments ‘n’ tinsel and lots of icicles. It had to be at least 6 ft. tall, so that it almost reached the ceilin’ but still had enuff room for tha star. And the branches on tha bottom had to be cut, in case Droopy, our weeny dog, got tha urge to water it. Which he did a time or two I am quite sure. Or tried to, that is till Maw-Maw showed up with tha broom. Now tha lights, oh garsh we had lots o’ lights, those big fat kind ‘n’ back then, lights didn’t blink, but those colored glass balls sparkled ‘n’ if ya lived in a drafty enuff house, tha wind whistlin’ thru would kinda sway ‘em ‘n’make ‘em look like they were blinkin’. So, ya see findin’ tha right tree, was no easy chore. We’d get all bundled up with saw in hand ‘n’ lots of rope. Then after tha Plymouth warmed up, we’d climb in ‘n’ off we’d go. We usually went out somewhere ‘round Belton lake. There were lots ‘o’ trees out thar, and Paw-Paw always said da bestest trees were nere tha water. So, that’s where we went. To some wooded area nere tha water, ‘n’ ya know, somehow tha perfect tree would be right where he said. Paw-Paw was real smart, when it came to Christmas trees. Now, findin’ tha tree, that was one thang, but ropin’ it down to tha top of tha car was another. We’d have rope goin’ thru all four windows, down tha trunk ‘n’ over tha hood. We looked like fishin’ net with a bunch ‘o’ yellar bellies all tangled ‘n’ tryin’ to get loose. Now on our way home we had ta drive real slow, so tha tree wouldn’t slide off. ‘Course we always stopped at tha Dairy King, for hamburglers as Paw-Paw called ‘em cause Maw-Maw was busy with tha decorations ‘n’ such ‘n’ sides that tha turkey was being used for something called left-overs tha next day. So we got hamburglars. Shoot I didn’t mind, I liked hamburglars. It did bother me some tho, I couldn’t understand that burglar part. Paw-Paw said it was called that cause tha poor cow had been robbed of it’s ham. I ‘s jest glad sumone else had done tha robbin’, cause when I was about 5, I took a piece o’ bubblegum from tha drugstore ‘n’ when Maw-Maw found out, she walked me all tha way back to that store ‘n’ made me confess my crime. Thru tears, I had ta sweep tha floor of that thar place to pay fer bubblegum. Lordy, I diden dare imagine what wouldda happened to that poor soul who robbed that thar cow. But Paw-Paw said it was okay if we et ‘em and that was good enuff fer me. Sides that, they tasted mighty fine. Anywho, onct we got tha tree home, why all tha neighbors, would come over ‘n’ help take tha thing off tha car. ’Cept fer tha widow lady, that lived next door. But she’d watch thru tha window, soas not ta miss out on tha festivities. Onct it was off tha car, it had ta be shook real good, ‘n’ if Maw-Maw approved of tha tree, it got hauled inside. Getting’ it in tha door sometimes caused a ruckus tho, ‘n’ Maw-Maw would make a fuss about all them needles, that’d fall off, but I really don’t think she minded. I’d see her smilin’ when Paw-Paw wadden’t lookin’. Esp. when he’d grab tha broom ‘n’ sweep ‘em up hisself. After it got stood up, Paw-Paw’d let Droopy ‘n’ Amber in to sniff it. If they liked it, it passed tha ultimate test. We had tha right tree. I’s glad, cause it mostly had already got dark while we were out lookin’, ‘n’sides that, those hamburglars were callin’ my name. Some years idded already started snowin, too. Now don’t get me wrong, I loved tha snow, but it’d git purty cold traipsin’ round lookin’ at trees. Sides that thar wadden’t enuff for sno-cream. We’d have ta wait till tha next day for that. Now, I cain’t rightly remember tha order of decoration, but Maw-Maw always had tha last say. Period, end a quote. And whenever Paw-Paw would take a handful of icicles ‘n’ just throw ‘em ‘n’ let land allover the tree she get real sassy, with her hands on hips ‘n’ say, “now Floyd, don’t you go messin’ up this tree. Folks from miles round will be drivin’ by ‘n’ looking.” And he’d say, “Aw, now Marie, don’t you worry yore pretty little head, it’ll be just fine,” and she’d just kinda huff ’n’ puff. Ya know how I mean? Tha next day, we’d hafta wash tha baseboards too, but I didden know why. I just figured it was cause of all them folks from MILES ROUND comin’ to see our purty tree. I didn’t know where MILES ROUND was, but I figured it must be a real special place. Why else, wooda ya wash baseboards.
Well, once, we turned out tha lights, oh, ya could see that tree shinin’ clear cross tha road. But when you are 7 or 8, across the road is a long way away. Then ever night, when tha sun went down, tha lights came on, till bedtime. We’d cross that road ever nite to stare in tha window. Then on Saturday nite, we’d git ta drive round tha neighborhoods lookin’ at all tha udder decorations. We’d git ta see all tha neighbors thataway too cause they were all doin’ tha same thing. It kinda created a togetherness, ya don’t see nowadays. Maw-Maw was right, ya know, folks must’ve been comin’ from MILES ROUND, cause I saw sum cars I didn’t recognize. ‘N” shoot, everone knew everone, ‘n’ a different car, was a stranger. Probably from MILES ROUND. Maw-Maw was real smart, too. Ever Sunday, after Church ‘n’ Maw-Maw’s fried chicken, we’d get ta go drivin’ downtown ta see iffen anything new had been added to tha courthouse square. We’d do that all tha way up ta Christmas Eve, but that was tha best day of all. Usually tha whole fam damily (that’s what my aunt Amy called ‘em) showed up, ‘n’ some friends, too. Thar’d be koolaid fer the kids, and most likely a big pot of beans ‘n’ cornbread, along with fried taters, pumpkin pie, sweet tater pie, pecan pie, ya name it we et it. Cept fer hogs head cheese, I wadden bout to touch it, robbin’ tha poor pig of ‘is head was a lot badder than robbin’ tha cow of ‘is ham! We’d all have loads of fun tho, ‘n’ git to sleep on tha floor ‘n’ all kinds of neat stuff. Tha local radio station was trackin’ Santa ‘n’ Rudolph, ‘n’ when he crossed tha Louisana border, we younguns had ta go ta bed, but first we had ta make sure there was plenty ‘o’ milk ‘n’ cookies out for Santa. Maw-Maw would make her famous piecrust cookies, cause he liked ‘em real well. We’d have a whole plate of ‘em for ‘im. If Uncle A.M. and Aunt Amy showed up, they’d sneak in ‘n’ surprise Maw-Maw. Uncle A.M. would sneak up behind her ‘n’ untie her apron strings. She’d pratend she didden know who did it, ‘n’ git all flustry, but she knew, it was just kinda their own little game. Once, first light of Christmas morn hit, thar was no way, you’d be able to keeps us younguns away from that tree. Oh it was glorious. If it’d snowed all nite, we’d get ta go out ‘n’ get big ole bowls full of snow, ‘n’ Maw-Maw would make sno-cream for desert. We just had ta watch out fer tha yellar snow, couldn’t get none of that. I can still taste tha hams ‘n’ turkey with tha tater salad, ‘n’ jest hear everyone singin’ Jingle Bells. Well, ya know, thar just ain’t no more words to describe My Texas Christmas.
Yall, Have a very Merry Christmas and wonderful New Year.God bless, and May the Christmas Angel stay by
Your side all year round.

© amy jean a.k.a A. J. Angerstein

by tha way, it most certainly
does snow in Texas – that’s for all
yall folks who say “I didden know it snowed in Texas!”
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