John Grogan - The Longest Trip Home


Santa was a cheapskate, but we loved him

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas is a week away and I'm actually less behind -- which is not to say ahead -- than usual for this time of year. Tis the season to be stressed out, tra-la-la... Most of the shopping is done, and gifts are in the mail. The cards are done because there are no cards to do. A few years ago, I decided holiday gang emails made a lot more sense than snail-mail cards, which ate up huge amounts of time, mostly because I insisted on writing a personal note on each one. (Don't you wonder what's the point when people send cards and simply write their names on the bottom?) I no longer even feel guilty about going the electronic route. I'll tell you, it's liberating.

We still get real trees, though. Jenny and I brought home a beauty of a fir last week that cleared the nine-foot ceilings with two inches to spare -- YES! -- and now it's twinkling in the front window, covered in decorations that tell the story of our children's artistic endeavors over the years, beginning in pre-school. My favorites are the paper angels they made one year with photos of their faces pasted on below halos made of pipe cleaners. Oh, where have those little angels gone? Whisked away and replaced by mutant teenage alien life forms that make strange monosyllabic sounds and eat incomprehensible amounts, mostly of ice cream. Thank goodness for those ornaments that lock fleeting innocence in time.

Pulling out holiday decorations always gets me thinking about my own childhood and how magical Christmas was back then. At the invitation of Book Club Girl (, I recently wrote about the holidays of my youth and the very special, oddball Santa who dropped down our chimney each year back in those days. You can read it here:

Happy holidays, everyone! Group hug!

posted by John Grogan at 9:26 PM


Blogger Tina said...

This post has been removed by the author.

5:47 PM  
Blogger Tina said...

I should try that one again... my fingers aren't working tonight... Happy Holidays to you and your family :>

5:48 PM  
Blogger Mark + Audrey Lestan said...

Hi John,

Haven't left a comment in a while but his one I had too. We cut down, and have been for the last 30 years, our own tree every year as well. We go up to Port Sanilac to Krausse's every year and then to Lexington to visit the General Store and Wimpy's for a quick bite.

Just figured I'd share because I know that you are from Michigan so I thought you would enjoy the similarities.

11:08 AM  
Blogger pollyanna said...

This post has been removed by the author.

7:00 PM  
Blogger Mouthy Labrador said...

John, I think the same Santa visited my house, too. I have fond memories of bows held on by (reused) tape and tags made from previous years' Christmas cards. Glad to hear your tree (barely fits under your ceiling; there's nothing quite like realizing the tree that looked like it would fit in the field really does. I remember my dad gouging the heck out of out ceiling one year on a tree just an inch or tall to fit. I think that mark was still there when they moved. Anyway, Merry Christmas to you and Jenny and the kids, and thanks for your books. The kids' books are regulars around here.

12:15 PM  
Blogger FERNANDA said...

Hi Jhon, I tell you that the book Marley and me was the best I've ever read, and I was very sad when Marley died, I cried a lot, to the point of my mother finding me a fool who cries the dog I had never seen, but I already had become a fan! I also have a mutt that I got from a woman who lives near here, I learned that she beat the Pity, and so I brought it home, thank God it never detonated because no mattress I'd be in trouble! my dream is to visit Pennsylvania, shortly after I passed through the outskirts of Palm Beach course, I am Brazilian, and that my dream is far from being achieved, I have only 14 years, and I think he just saw take place when I have my own money, but Grant would I still get the same land that Marley was.

PS: Sorry for the disaster of my English, I had to translate into a site, what I meant, because I can not speak anything in English! And I felt very strongly that you in one of those times he visited the tomb of Marley who tried to tell him that I'm your number 1 fan!

12:16 PM  
Blogger Gabriel said...

Hi John, I am fan of your book Marley and Me, I cried a lot when Marley died, the more he died in peace.
Plus it will be eternal .... I am from Brazil and John makes you much success here, I have known marley, despite his antics he was a good dog ....

11:58 AM  
Blogger gail said...

We had a re-used box, bow and wrapping paper closet upstairs in our house. No sense buying new paper or bows when we had neatly folded, re-used ones upstairs. We loved seeing the re-used tags, paper and bows every year. And my girls are the proud recipients of re-used boxes, bows, ribbon and tags. Some tags are more than 20 years old!

7:27 AM  

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