A card, a note, a phone call, a visit, or a wild drive around town to satisfy three teeny boppers. All these things can bring about an eternal moment of the day. The key is to be on the lookout for them. And, be on the lookout to do them.
Whether writing fiction or non-fiction, research is the most important thing we do. Movies and television seem to be able to “get away with” not being accurate or getting their facts straight. And maybe in the past, writers could as well. Not anymore. But the thing about fiction is that you can away with fudging a bit, as I am in my novel. I’m fudging a bit on time, on how civilized my hometown was, shoot, I’m even fictionalizing the name of my hometown.
When I was growing up, we had a Christmas Eve tradition of hamburgers for supper. I loved ’em because hamburgers were my favorite thing to eat. Mom didn’t make them terribly often, so to have them on Christmas Eve before presents were opened was special. My dad’s parents were there, my brother, and sometimes Mom’s Mother, Grammy, joined us. It’s a tradition about Christmas that I loved.
Later, after our church started having a Christmas Eve service, we went after opening our presents. It was always the same service. “Happy Birthday, Jesus!” It was a candlelight service that began at 11:00 p.m.
But I need to back up. After hamburgers, we’d all go into the living room. We’d sing Christmas Carols, often I’d play piano and lead the singing. Then, we’d read the Christmas story from Matthew and Luke. THEN, we’d open presents. We always left the envelopes, if there were any on the tree branches, for last. Because the envelope always represented something too big to put under the tree. After all the presents were opened, we had snacks. Cookies, fruit breads, soft drinks for us kids, coffee for the adults, and peppernuts. I’ll explain peppernuts in tomorrow’s post.
What I’ve pictured is my father-in-law’s genuine silver Christmas tree from the 50s/60s. See how the flash highlights the trumpets at the end of the branches. I love that. This is the third year for this tree. Unfortunately, both the color wheels have either busted or melted, so we just put it up a few extra ornaments people give for this year’s Christmas.