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From Our December 2002 Edition

Well itís Christmas Time, and that means those little McCarty Grandbrats will be getting ready for all their holiday entertainment. Well, they will be going to movies, concerts, sporting events, and even vacations! Just thinking about those pampered Prancers makes me more wired up than the outlet at 9323 Sussex after the Christmas lights were plugged in.

Nowadays these kids have to go to some gigantic blockbuster movie during the holidays. Oh, Iím sure it will be some big special effects bonanza. When I was a kid, if we wanted to see something, my Dad would pile us in the car and drive around to see Christmas lights. That was about as big of a treat as sitting in a closet and watching the floor. We were stuffed like pimentos in the car with my brothers while driving around looking at electricity. Whoop-de-do-da! There would be so much snow, dirt, and salt on the windows plus the foggy windows from 10 people breathing, we couldnít see anything anyway. Since there was no heat in the car weíd be a frozen, squished, pile of kids holding our breath, but we didnít care, we loved it!Ö. because it was Christmas.

And these kids nowadays donít even put up Christmas lights. They leave it to their parents or they hire somebody. When I was a kid, Mom would make me stand out in the freezing snow and hold the aluminum ladder while she hung the lights outside. I guess she thought if she had to be out there, she might as well make the kids suffer too. And you would think with eight kids we would have one decent pair of gloves in the house. Instead, I would be standing there with a mitten with a hole in the thumb on my left hand and a gym sock on my right hand. Iíd be a frozen Popsicle with snot frozen on my face and my hands stuck to the aluminum ladder, but I didnít care I loved it, because Mom would put in blinkers!!

And those lights my Mom used were in our family for over 20 years. They were covered in black electrical tape and we would pick up the electrocuted dead carcass of any animal that touched the lights. There would be birds, squirrels, and an occasional paperboy that made the mistake of touching the Christmas lights. And, God help you if a strand didnít work. Because then my Mom would spend hours trying to find the burnt out light bulb and I would have to hold the burnt out light while she changed it. I still have frostbite today, but I donít care I wouldnít trade having feeling in my hands for any of the fun of Christmas decorating.

So you McCarty Brats learn a thing or two from the past and decorate your house the old fashioned way. And Iím sure Mom McCarty still has the lights and the aluminum ladder so put your dibs in. And hereís a free tip from Uncle Jer, stick your tongue on the aluminum ladder, itís fun!!

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