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Memories of Dad on Christmas

Memories of Dad on Christmas

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Published by Tom Matlack
Tom Matlack and others share their most indelible Christmas memories of their fathers and grandfathers.
Tom Matlack and others share their most indelible Christmas memories of their fathers and grandfathers.

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Published by: Tom Matlack on Dec 23, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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12/22/2012

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Memories of Dad onChristmas
December 20, 2010 By Tom Matlack 4 Comments (Edit)
Tom Matlack and others sharetheir most indelible Christmasmemories of their fathers and grandfathers.
 
When I was a kid, my parents were hippie-Quaker-pacifist-over-intellectual activists who spent most of their timehanging out with lesbians, smoking pot, and getting arrested.By the time I was 8 years old, I had found an antidote to mysense that I had been born a freak: football. Compared tothe free-for-all at home, football made sense to me; it didn’trequire complex philosophical debate or civil disobedience.Controlled violence with clear winners and losers was manlyand “normal.”I worshiped the “Purple People Eaters,” the MinnesotaVikings’ dominant defensive line. For Christmas that year, allI wanted was Viking gear, and Santa obliged. Under the treeChristmas morning were full pads and a real football.
Yes.
My grandpa Jesse was bald as a bowling ball, and he’dmastered the art of moving his scalp to make his enormousears wiggle. He was a big guy who had once played football;that made him a god in my eyes. After all the gifts wereopened and wrapping paper cleared away, Grandpa Jesseand my dad took me—suited up in my new gear—to the fieldacross the street. Dad threw me a bomb. The ball whistledtoward me and I reached out for it, holding on for dear life asit brought me to the ground. For that moment, nothing elsemattered but the connection to my dad and my grandpa. As Ilay motionless, breathless, on the frozen ground, staring up
 
at the clear blue sky, I felt like I had just scored a Super Bowl–winning touchdown. Best. Christmas. Ever.With Christmas approaching, we asked people to shareholiday stories of their dads and granddads. Here’s whatthey said. We’d love to hear your favorite, or most indelible,Christmas memories, too—please share them with us in thecomments section below.♦◊♦
My dad, Gary Miller, sends himself Christmas presents fromother women to get my mom riled up. A tried and truefavorite is from the “Girls at the Copa Cabana.” 
—Casey Miller, Durham, North Carolina
♦◊♦
My father could tolerate only so much company during theholidays. So one year, to get everyone out of the house onhis own terms, he recorded an episode of the Weather Channel during a severe winter weather advisory. You know,the one where they say an impending storm is about to dropa foot or more of snow within the next several hours. Then,when he was tired of the merry-making, he put that tape intothe VCR and made a
huge
commotion that everyone should get home where they’d be safe. People grabbed their coatsand high-tailed it out of there.
—Brian Hyland, Little Ferry, New Jersey (story occurredin Brick, NJ)
♦◊♦
In the summer between my sophomore and junior year of college, my father was all over me about my grades. I madehim a bet: if I made the Dean’s List, he’d have to lose 30  pounds. Instantly, he yelled, “ 
Done!
” He chuckled like ahustler. “No way you ever make Dean’s List.” 

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