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Still Having a Merry Christmas (Plus, Some Tunes)

This Christmas would be unlike any other Christmas before. However, I made certain that we still had many moments of happiness and joy.

As I informed many of you who regularly read my work when I posted a tribute, my fifty-six year-old father died suddenly on November 14. He was one of my biggest fans. You all showed me a lot of kindness by leaving heartfelt comments of sympathy in response.

Christmas Eve celebration started with visiting my dad’s grave site and leaving some flowers. It may have felt like a uniquely bleak moment, but there are probably countless people, who celebrate Christmas and paused to remember someone unnecessarily killed or who died tragically this past year.

Then came the happiness that I had been eagerly anticipating.

After eating dinner with my ailing grandfather on my father’s side, I came back to the house where my dad and his wife, whom he married, lived. They had two children—both girls, six and two years-old. I decided to stay at the house to see my sisters open gifts from Santa Clause in the morning.

There is nothing better than being with a six-year-old, who is anxiously waiting for Santa to stop by and leave presents. She could not sleep and woke me up about 2 am to ask if he had been here yet.

I checked the Santa tracker and told her where his sleigh was at the moment. Once he was past Wisconsin and in Nebraska, I gave in and we went to look at the gifts under the tree.

She was now exuberant, and it was not even 3 am in the morning. I, and others in the family, still wanted to sleep at least until 6 am if possible. Since it was clear she was not going to stop talking about everything going through her mind at this hour, we went downstairs to the tree and sat on the couch.

All the gifts were magnificent to her. She picked up some of the ones that were not wrapped and desperately wanted to put the presents in stacks—the ones for her and the ones for her baby sister. But I told her she had to leave them and wait until the whole family was up to see the presents be opened.

I do not normally write about this kind of thing (some of my most regular readers may be shrugging), but I want you all to know that it made me really happy. I had never spent the night in this house on Christmas Eve. And, as much as I wanted to go right back to sleep, sitting up with her, watching television and waiting for her to become tired and go back up to bed was quite fun.

She, in fact, did fall back to sleep in her bed about 5 am, and we did not open presents at some hour when nobody wanted to be awake.

There are gifts I gave to some family this year that were not the standard products so many Americans clamor to snatch up on Black Friday. Sentimental reasons related to the love we all had for our dad inspired some gift ideas. That, and being able to wake up and see my sisters open what Santa brought them, was rejuvenating.

Somehow, I believe we still had a merry Christmas because we got to be with each other.

*

Now, some Christmas tunes for your holiday:

1. Wilson Pickett – “Jingle Bells”

2. Eddie C. Campbell – “Santa’s Messin’ With the Kid”



3. Lowell Fulson – “I Want to Spend Christmas With You”

4. Electric Jungle – “Funky Funky Christmas”

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5. Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings – “White Christmas”



6. Solomon Burke – “Presents for Christmas”



7. The Staple Singers – “Who Took the Merry Out of Christmas?”

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Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure."

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