Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Ghost of Christmas Past

My mother had an annual Christmas tradition where she would take each of her four children with her on a shopping expedition to downtown Pittsburgh.  This was treasured alone time with my mom.  We'd take the street car to town and look at the holiday window displays at Kaufmann's, Gimbel's, and Horne's department stores.  The tradition also included lunch at a coffee shop (I can't remember the name) where they toasted the hamburger bun - a gourmet touch to my young palate, since for our family buns themselves were a splurge.  Our hamburgers at home were served on sliced bread.
On one such expedition, when I was about four or five, my mom helped me pick out my gift for my father - handkerchiefs.  When we got home I quickly ran to my dad, jumped in his lap and with childhood excitement told him I'd chosen his gift.  Teasingly, I said to him "I won't tell you what it is but you can blow your nose in it!". 
You know, he never was able to decipher my hint and he was really surprised on Christmas morning.

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