Does anyone else do the Christmas pickle? Not the kind that you eat, but the kind on your tree!
Every year on Christmas Eve my mom hides an ornament shaped like a pickle on our Christmas tree. Then, on Christmas morning, the first person to find the pickle gets an extra present, which is usually a game or something to do as a family. Not to brag, but I pretty much always win. That pickle and I have a special affinity for each other.
Cassi experiences the agony of defeat, 2007
When it comes down to opening presents, we all sit in front of the Christmas tree and my dad hands out presents one at a time for us to open.
Cassi gets a present from "Ninja Claus", 2007
Let me pause here to say something about my dad. My dad and I are alike in many ways, and yet in a lot of ways we're really different. We get along well, though, and I think that's because neither of us like to indulge in conversation. We're not really big talkers, and we're both comfortable with silence. And my dad is even less sentimental than I am. So anyways, that hat that my dad is wearing in the above picture says "Grinch" across the front. It's kind of a family joke that my dad isn't exactly a high-energy jovial kind of guy. He doesn't like to draw attention to himself.
When they lived in Alaska, my parents and the other FedEx pilots/spouses would collect presents and deliver them to the kids in the local hospital. One of the guys would always dress up as Santa Claus to deliver the presents. One year, the guy who usually dressed up as Santa couldn't make it, so somehow my dad ended up inside the Santa suit. I'm sure he hated the idea, but there you go: Even "the Grinch" himself was willing to do something to make a bunch of sick kids happy. That's the spirit of Christmas, right? Going the extra mile to make someone else happy. I was really proud of my dad for dressing up as Santa that year.
My family, Christmas 2007