Saturday, December 24, 2016

My Christmas Eve Tradition

Let's go back in time, to 1985. The date is December 24th and I've spent most of the day working. I was, at that time, the janitor's assistant at a department store named Philadelphia Sales Company.  We were very busy all day. Not only did I do my normal duties, but I also helped carry items for customers. Normally, I worked from 7 in the morning until 2:30 in the afternoon, but that day, I worked until we closed at 4 in the afternoon.

When I walked out of the store, my brother was waiting to pick me up. He had already picked up our father and they had gone to his parents' house. It was a short drive, but something went wrong along the way. The car stalled at a red light and, thankfully, a total stranger helped push the car to the side of the road and then gave our battery a jump start.

Five minutes later, we were in the driveway, where my grandfather got out his battery charger and we hooked it up.  We stayed at my grandparents' house until about 6:30 or so.

We got home at 7, and by that time, I had no desire to cook dinner. I asked my dad for the car keys. He asked me why I wanted them. I told him I was going to go get a pizza for dinner. That sounded good to him, so he gave me the car keys. I told my brother to go next door and ask his friend Marty, and Marty's sister Sherry, if they wanted to go with us. While he did that, I went out and started the car.

A few minutes later, Mark and Marty got in the car (Sherri had already left to go on a date with her boyfriend, who she has now been married to for thirty years), and we drove from Glen Aubrey back into West Corners.

We got to the pizzeria just as its owner was getting ready to close but she very nicely made one more pizza.

While we waited, Mark and Marty played video games and I played pinball. When the pizza was done, I paid for it and we took it back home.

That started a tradition for me, one of having pizza for lunch or dinner on the day before Christmas. I've had pizza that day every year since, and will do so again later today.

Some years it's a single slice and some years it's an inexpensive frozen pizza. There have been times I've ordered a whole pizza, and times I've made one from scratch. The point is, it's something I do every year.

Wherever you are, dear reader, please accept my wishes for a very Merry Christmas.

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