Christmas 2022: Peanut Butter and Guitar Strings

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“Are you ready for our annual Christmas TV marathon?” Declan’s grandfather asked. “I’ve got pizza on the way, with extra anchovies of course, and there is ice cream for dessert.”

“Oh grandpa, it’s the same shows all the time. Can we just play a video game or something?” Declan answered, slumping on the couch.

“Dec buddy, watching these same classics is the whole point. You know how much I look forward to this all year. I mean come on. How can any video game in the world compete against The Muppet Christmas Carol, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, and the master of them all, A Charlie Brown Christmas?”

Declan sighed.

“Declan,” his mother said. “You love watching these shows and your grandfather has been planning this all year.”

“I know, I know. And I like watching them. It’s just, well. Aren’t they for little kids?”

“Kids or the young at heart,” his grandfather said. Just then the doorbell rang. “Must be the pizza. Can you get it, Dec? I already paid for it.”

“Okay,” Dec slid off the couch and shuffled to the door. Opening it, he was caught by surprise. Instead of the pizza delivery guy, Ashley Brown stood there with her mother.

“Ah, hi Ashley. Why are you here?”

Declan’s grandfather slipped up behind him. “I invited her. Your mother and Mrs. Brown are going shopping and Ashley told me she loves watching the Christmas shows. Come on in, pizza should be here next. Dec, you and Ashley go get comfortable and the show will start soon.”

“You sure this is no trouble?” Ashley’s mom said.

“Not at all,” Declan’s grandfather said. “Just what the boy needs to revitalize the Christmas spirit.”

Declan’s mom and Mrs. Brown started out the door. “Dad, I know how much you love reciting every word of these shows but maybe you should just let them enjoy them.”

Declan’s grandfather winked. “That is exactly what I plan to do. Now go, I didn’t get enough pizza for five people.”

Soon the pizza arrived and they finished watching a Muppet Christmas Carol. Dec and Ashley paid attention, but Declan kept glancing over at her. Soon, the opening scenes with Burl Ives as the Snowman appeared on the screen.

“This is my favorite show,” Ashley said.

“Mine too,” said Declan.

That caught his grandfather by surprise since Declan used to say it was Charlie Brown.

“What is your favorite part?” Declan asked.

Ashley giggled. “Well, believe it or not, it’s when Hermie and Rudolph first meet Yukon Cornelius. He tells them he’s going to get life sustaining supplies “corn meal and gun powder, ham hocks and guitar strings.”

Dec laughed. “Yeah, I like that, too. And when Yukon says the fog is a thick as peanut butter and Hermie says you mean pea soup. Then Yukon says, you eat what you like, and I’ll eat what I like.”

They both laughed and went back to watching the shows.  Just as Charlie Brown and the gang stood around the tree he had picked out; Declan’s mom and Mrs. Brown came home.

“Well, by the mess here I can see it was quite a party.” Declan’s mom said.

“We had a lot of fun, thanks for inviting me.” Ashley said. “See you in school on Monday, Dec.” Ashley and her mom headed out.

“Dec?” Declan’s mom mouthed at his grandfather who winked back.

“So, did you enjoy yourself, Dec?” his mom asked.

“Yup, you know how much I always look forward to this night. And tonight was even better.” Dec ran off to get ready for bed.

Declan’s mom smiled. “I see he’s at least rekindled that part of the Christmas tradition. I hope you didn’t make a pest of yourself.”

“Me? A pest? Never. To be honest, they never even knew I was here unless I was delivering ice cream or pizza. And even then I’m not sure they noticed.”

A few moment later, Dec’s grandfather went up to Declan’s room. “All set for bed, pal?”

“Yup, just laying here thinking.”

“Thinking about what?”

“Well, you know how I didn’t want to watch the shows at first. Then Ashley showed up and it seemed like I was seeing the shows for the first time, even though I know every word like you.”

“Dec, you’ll learn that whatever we experience in life—good or bad—it is always better when we share it with others.”

“You know, grandpa. I think I will look forward to watching these shows every year for my whole life. Just like you.”

Declan’s grandfather gave him a kiss on the forehead. “Let’s hope you do, Dec. Let’s hope you do.”

Tomorrow: How The Grinch Changed

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