My funniest Christmas memory would have to be the Christmas of 1969, the year my sister and I risked our lives to receive the funniest presents ever.
That year, my mother wanted to buy a unique present for her grandsons, and she thought football uniforms would be ideal. They were special uniforms that included helmets, cleats, and shoulder pads.
After weeks of searching, my mother found one store that sold them, and two days before Christmas, a new shipment arrived. My mother asked my sister and me to pick them up. We went at 8 o'clock at night, by bus. We purchased the uniforms, and while waiting for the bus to return home, a man walked by and informed us that it stopped running after 9 o'clock, so we had to walk.
The street my sister and I walked on that night, did not have sidewalks, Cars beeped their horns at us the entire way. We also had to pass by a large building that took up four city blocks, which housed dangerous criminals and the criminally insane.
My sister told me that a siren went off if someone escaped. As luck would have it, we did hear a siren as we reached the last block of the institution. Panic and fear came over us, but we could not decide what was more frightening, the siren, or the cars zooming past us.
We eventually arrived home safely and my mother was delighted about the uniforms. We did think it was strange that she was not the least bit concerned about the harrowing experience her daughters just went through to get them, but it was Christmas, after all.
Christmas arrived and everyone was excited. One sister opened a gift from my brother, the dad of the boys my mom bought the football uniforms for, and the ones we risked life and limb to purchase.
The gift from my brother was a painter's smock. This smock had every conceivable pattern and color, paisley, polka dot, with green, orange, and purple designs. Holding the smock up to conceal her face, she looked over at me and my other sister, and rolled her eyes. It was the most hideous shirt we had ever seen.
My other sister and I did all we could to stifle our amusement. Our amusement turned into hilarity when we discovered that we both also received that same smock, in the same colors.
We all head the smocks up to our faces to avoid what we knew was coming for us later, as my mother sat frozen, giving us the evil eye.
After forty years, we still laugh about risking our lives for those smocks, and we wonder what happened to them.