Ten days 

Not that I’m counting other than to practice the discipline of writing an imaginary advent calendar since I was not disciplined enough to plan to have a real one so each day a door gets opened to reveal — what

That’s the part I’m not sure of. It was not a Christmas tradition in my family. But then when I think of Christmas tradition, I always think of that family brawl when my grandfather smacked my aunt at the table. My uncle lunged at my grandfather and my father (the giant at 5’8″) flailed about wrestling the both of them to the ground. As my mother tells it, next up was her scolding the Walker men for fighting at the Christmas dinner table (which was, alas, actually three or four wooden picnic tables covered with white table cloths).

Picnic tables cannot be disguised. I’m almost certain that my surly grandmother (we shall refer to her as the Mouth here) made mention of this at some point and not under her breath but so everyone could hear. The Mouth had once pulled me aside, her granddaughter who may have been 8 at the time, to tell me how awful my mother was and how my father never should have married her. 

My aunt, who was married to my father’s brother, the eldest son of the Mouth and the Crazy, who we will refer to as my manic-depressive genius grandfather who, when he drank gin, defined Jeckyl & Hyde.

Christmas dinner. White table cloths. Four grandchildren, 2 married and with their spouses. Witnesses to a wonderful Walker family Christmas.

Lords leaping – across the table to break up a fight…




The Ghost of Christmas Past fades yet lingers, as if having more to say.


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