BBAC 2012: Day 15 - Ghosts of Christmases Past

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BBAC 2012: Day 15 - Ghosts of Christmases Past

A few days ago, Xsparkage posted a photo of <a href="http://instagram.com/p/TACaaYFhc_/" target="_blank">a truly stunning "Disneyland" Christmas-light display</a>. Someone asked her where that house was, and she replied, "McDonald and Granite Reef in Scottsdale." ...hey, wait a minute. I think I know where that is!!! I know those street names!! I hit Google Maps, found the intersection of Granite Reef and McDonald Road, and then typed in "Get Directions" to my childhood address.</p> <p>Turns out that this amazing house is 4 miles from the neighborhood where my family lived for five years. I started school at this house. I joined Brownies while living at this house. I bought my first book, with my own money, while living at this house. (I also accidentally bought cat toys for a human's Christmas gift.)</p>

Christmas in Scottsdale Arizona (a suburb just outside of Phoenix) is not exactly what you’d call “white Christmas weather.” It would be cold, yes, but I think the lowest the winter temperatures got was the mid-50s. Nights might be in the mid-30s if it was bring-in-the-brass-monkeys weather. So during Christmas season, we would be in our winter coats, but we didn’t really need mittens or snow boots. Christmas season meant a tree, presents, possibly a trip to Flagstaff if we were going for a “snow day.” The cul-de-sac where my family’s house was, had several families with kids. Christmas afternoon, all the kids would take to the streets and sidewalks to show off and share our new bikes, skateboards, scooters, and toys while the adults did whatever the adults did probably breathe a sigh of relief that they could have a few hours to clean up without the kids underfoot.

I remember Christmas 1977. I got a Star Wars tee-shirt (I’d already seen the film three times, the Cine Capri was 15 miles away from my house and was one of the original markets for the May 25th release) which I wore for about five years and kept for another 10 - and then gave away, because by that time I was long past the ability to fit into a size-small tee. That Christmas I had gone to the “Christmas shoppe” set up at my school, where there were crafts and inexpensive gifts for the schoolkids (and their parents) to buy. I saw something that I thought would be absolutely great for my year-and-a-half-old brother. They were these round plastic balls with jingle bells inside of them. No sharp edges, no tiny pieces to break off and possibly choke him, and fun for a not-yet-walking baby to play with. He could chew on them and he wouldn’t swallow any paint or wood splinters, he could pick them up, he could throw them. Perfect!! I got my mom something and got my dad something, headed home, and my horrified mother told me that I’d bought my brother some cat toys as a Christmas gift. (I really honestly did think it those jingle-balls were a pretty cool gift. I plead youth and ignorance.)

I’m headed to visit my parents and brother this year. <a href=“http://www.amazon.com/FroliCat-BOLT-Interactive-Laser-Pet/dp/B0021L8W6K/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1355577270&sr=8-1&keywords=bolt+laser+cat+toy” target=“_blank”>I know just what to get him</a>! (Actually, it would make good sense - he has an older indoor-only cat who would probably love the mental stimulation.)

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