A Ghost of Christmas Past

(taking advantage of the seasonal excuse for these kinds of stories.)

Four Kids at Christmas

Christmas shopping growing up was the four of us, my older brother and younger sisters, seated around the kitchen table and our dad stumbling in, dead drunk, tossing a half-empty pack of Raleigh cigarettes at my brother.

“Here. You filthy animals,” he’d say and laugh like it was joke grandpa used to tell him at Christmas, or something. Then he’d curse (“fuck” was always his favorite), drop the Sears Wish Book, and stagger back towards the TV room.

Later, mom would drive downtown to the outlet to place the order. At least that remaining part of it that dad hadn’t vetoed.

Still, judging by the photo, it didn’t turn out too bad.