Fond memories of The Fighting Lady

Published: Monday, December 23, 2013 at 03:14 PM.

But we had to whisper. And we had to wait for Mom and Dad to emerge from their bedroom before we could do more than stare, mesmerized with rapt wonder, at Santa’s generosity under the aluminum Christmas tree with its red, glass bulb ornaments and twirling color wheel.

Today, being a giver is more enjoyable than being a getter. But of the great Christmas memories I have, none beats that Christmas morning on Sunday, Dec. 25, 1960, 53 years ago tomorrow, when I was a getter.

I was nearly 8 years old. It snowed that Christmas Eve night, I remember, one of those heavy, blustery, northern Ohio snowfalls that used to pile up in drifts against the front door, offering opportunities of tunnels and snow forts and a needed respite for Mom and Dad later on during the day.

But even the early morning view of the snow through the living room picture window couldn’t long draw my eyes that Christmas morning away from the big, wrapped box marked “To Barry from Santa.”

We kids had decided to break the rules that morning and closely inspect, even feel and shake, the gifts under the tree. As the eldest among we four siblings, I’d been given the task to conduct an inventory, a dangerous mission I accepted without hesitation.

Frankly, I couldn’t have cared less about what my brothers and sister had received that morning. The biggest box under the tree was for me.

My heart raced with expectation at the adventures hidden in that foil-wrapped box. What could this enticing treasure possibly be? I could hardly wait for the revealing of that gift, the pleas of my siblings to tell them the results of my inventory ignored.

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