There was one particular Christmas in which I wanted a bicycle sooo badly. I had a small bike and I wanted to step up to a 26-inch bike with hand brakes and a three-speed shifter. They were the rage! My two cousins also wanted the same thing that I did for that Christmas.
We were celebrating our family Christmas at our Uncle’s and Aunt’s house. We had a fine Christmas dinner. Time to open the gifts. With my parents, my cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents all taking turns to open gifts time passed and the evening waned. No bicycles! Sure…plenty of gifts for us kids but no bicycles.
I forget who, but, after all the gifts from under the tree were opened and disappointment was setting in, either one of my uncles or my father suggested that there might be something for us stashed in the detached garage. The three of us rushed out to take a look. Nothing there! We were puzzled and disappointed. We made our way back to the house, went into the living room where everyone was gathered around the tree and to our delight – BICYCLES! But…only two. My cousins were thrilled but, of course, I was even more disappointed. I am sure my disappointment, turning to sorrow, was plain and obvious.
Suggestion made…why don’t I check the garage again. Maybe we missed or overlooked something on our first trip. Well…hopes up again and still gullible, off I went. Nothing again! Little did I think that the repeated trips to the garage were diversions to get us out of the house while they snuck the bikes from the front porch where they had been sequestered into the living room to surprise us.
Sure enough, when I came back to the house, there was a third bike! To the merriment of all, I raced around to the third bike and checked the gift tag to make sure that it was for me. I don’t know who I thought it could have been for if not for me, but I was not taking any chances on another disappointment.
Our family shared many Christmas celebrations together as I grew up. Now, with an expanded family and having lost family members over the years, the participants are different, but the family tradition is not lost. We continue to create memories to be treasured for years to come.