Photo: Mike Chaput
Our Christmas gifts were mostly practical ones: pencils, socks, toothbrushes, and that sort of thing. But each kid also received a favorite edible — olives for one brother, sweet and sour salt plums for the other, chocolate covered cherries for my sister and me. There was always the special item, too — the binoculars, the big Audubon book, something deeply desired but completely unexpected. As for our stockings, our names were not embroidered in glitter or sequins but there was always a tangerine in the toe of each one. Always. And it was always so juicy and good.
Besides the binoculars, what I really remember was my parents’ wrapping style. We never seemed to have gifts wrapped in normal Christmas paper, but rather, in anything but. One year it was rice paper. Butcher paper was featured another year. When my dad wrapped our gifts in newspaper I felt they were getting maybe too unusual. There were many years when colored tissue concealed our gifts. My parents had been in charge of decoration for a dance at the university and had bought an enormous box of tissue paper to use. A rainbow of gossamer-colored sheets re... Read more