“Shoveling a Dangerous Driveway” by Chris Zito

As I dug us out the other day after the first big blast of the winter I found myself wanting to snap my fingers and make Vince 15 years old for the morning and then turn him right back to his cute lovable five-year old self. He could have done the bulk of the shoveling and it wouldn’t have cost me a dime. Say what you will about teenagers, they’re cheap labor.

Adorable. And useless.

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“Father (at) Christmas”

Our parents have a huge influence on how we view Christmas. Generally when you meet someone who hates the holidays it’s because they grew up in a house where maybe Dad drank too much and knocked the tree over. Or maybe they saw Mommy kissing Santa Clause, only Mommy was at the mall at the time and Daddy was at work.

“Is that a candy cane in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?”

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“Bargain Basement Tree” By Chris Zito

Because my daughter Jessica’s birthday is December 19, we always held off on getting our Christmas tree until at least the 20th when she was growing up. There were certain advantages. The guys at the local parking lot tree sale were ready to haggle by then.

I used to get to these trees only days before the wood chipper.

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“I Know Something You Don’t Know” by Chris Zito

Once Santa stopped coming to our house and Mom and Dad took over buying presents for everyone it wasn’t long before the taunting over Christmas secrets began. Each of us always found out at least something one of the other kids was getting so the announcement of, “I know something you don’t know” quickly became code for “I know whether you got your main request.”

“Is it a Lite Brite?”
“You’ll never get it out of me!”

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“105 Degrees at Christmas” By Chris Zito

As childhood disasters go, none could be worse than Santa not being able to find you on Christmas Eve. I nearly suffered this unimaginable fate during my 7th winter.

Pre-GPS Santa.

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“Different Christmas” by Chris Zito

Christmas traditions are what give us that warm holiday feeling. Heartburn. The more we feel like “it just doesn’t seem like Christmas unless” blank happens the more pressure we feel around the holidays. I say mix it up every year. Put the tree in a different spot. Spend Christmas Eve in a different place. “What are we doing this year?” is less stressful than “Why aren’t we doing that this year?”

“Oh no! I forgot to put out the ribbon candy that no one eats!”

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“Save the Bows!” By Chris Zito

When it came time to open Christmas presents in our house Mom always had a special bag that she made everyone put the bows in after opening a gift. “Save the bows!” she would cry repeatedly. It sounded like some sort of strange protest.

“End Construction! No more buildings! End Construction! No more buildings!”

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