Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Abby's First Christmas
(This wasn't the tree mentioned below, but it pretty much looked the same and was about in the same place that tree was in '96.)
Christmas in ’96 was the first one after my grandmother’s death, and the 3rd one that my dad would not spend with us since this was in the middle of his ‘period of troubles.’ On a brighter note, this was the first Christmas ever for my baby girl. As if we didn’t dote on her enough, we thought we would involve Abby in the festivities by purchasing her a gift as well. I bought her a gift basket from a big-box pet store. It was filled with pigs ears, milk bones, rawhide chew toys and some squeaky toys. The fact that a pet store would have such an item meant I wasn’t the only one out there who paid a little too much time with his pet and overindulging it. It was a relief to know that there were other dog owners out there who were just as eccentric about their babies as I was. I even went so far as to wrap the gift basket and place it under the tree along with the other ‘people gifts’.
Not wanting to leave Father out and hurt his feelings, I bought him a gift basked too, wrapped it and placed it under the tree. My plan was to open their presents on Christmas Eve when we opened our presents. Things didn’t work out the way we wanted. The day we put the gift baskets under the tree, Father zeroed in on one of them, sat in front of it and guarded it in full earnest. When Abby walked by him, he growled a little and drew even closer to the gift basket, with the gift between his front paws. Father grew anxious and irritated even when I or someone else came close to his gift.
I thought it was so cute that Father knew the gift was his. He picked it out of the whole stack of gifts and wasn’t going to let it out of his site. It was almost like a predator-prey scenario. He stalked out his loot and wasn’t going to let it go. Father wasn’t too mean to Abby. Abby was somewhat confused, but she didn’t press the issue since there was so much more going on to divert her attention from a possibly volatile situation.
We couldn’t let this situation go on for days on end. Had we let Father, he was going to stay by his prize as long as he had to until he reaped the rewards. We decided to go ahead and give Father and Abby their baskets which they absolutely loved. Come to think of it, this gift to the babies was about the only thing I remember about that Christmas. I’m not sure if we ever gave them gifts like that again. I wished I had taken pictures of that time, but I didn’t.