Friday, December 01, 2006

Hey everyone, Fred the Cat here with a plan.

For the next three or four weekends I am going to post Christmas stories that Pop wrote last year and published on another site as a contributor. Her readers there seemed to like them so I thought I would share them with you. Here’s the first one.

Christmas and the Snoopy balancing act

A couple of years ago we were invited to a Christmas party, but this one had a little twist. Instead of bringing a dish or your own adult beverage or anything like that, each party attendee was asked to bring new, unwrapped toys that would later be delivered to a local charity and they in turn would give them to children who would not be getting much for Christmas.

Oh what fun Mr. Pop and I had buying toys. You see we have no children of our own and all of our nieces and nephews are too old for children’s toys. We bought dolls and dolls and kits for boys and lots of stuff. We filled that cart right up to the top. Even when we got home and took all those treasures from their bags we just stood and smiled thinking of what the kids would feel when they received some of this fun.

The night of the party arrived. Feeling a wee bit like old Santa himself, we loaded our car with gifts and headed out. When we got to the home of the hostess we walked in and added our toys to the giant pile that had already formed. It truly was a mountain of happiness and promises. There were tricycles and stuffed animals and just about any kind of toy you can think of. Everyone was smiling with Christmas cheer and just general all around happiness.

After the party we drove home feeling that we had not only had fun at the party but we had contributed to some unknown children’s Christmas. As we rounded the corner just before our drive way we saw something. Our big plastic Snoopy Santa light-up figure was not by our front door as it was supposed to be. It was laying down in the middle of our yard. Mr. Pop pulled into the garage and I flew out of the car to see what had happened to our sweet Snoopy. Sadly I discovered that someone had batted Snoopy around and cracked him all up. He was split in the middle and on his face. I brought him inside and tried my best to sort of pop out the dents and force the cracked parts back into position. Poor Snoopy would never be the same. After I did all I could for him I decided to try plugging him in again to see if he would light up. He did.

I was so hurt and angry. Here we had been out giving presents and toys to kids in need and while we’re doing our good deed, someone had mugged Snoopy.

Being as angry as can be that some jerk enjoyed beating up a plastic Christmas decoration I wrote a letter to our local paper bitching about what had happened. The letter was published and damn it, I felt better for whatever reason.

A couple of days after my letter was published I received a small parcel in the mail. There was no return address on it so I had no idea who or where it was from. I gingerly opened the package and discovered a note along with something wrapped and taped up in bubble wrap. The note began with, “I hope this gets to the lady who wrote the letter that appeared in the paper”. The note went on to say that this person’s mother had recently passed away and as is often the case this person had had to clear out her mother’s house. When going through her mother’s possessions she had come across her mother’s Christmas decorations. In these decorations was a little porcelain Snoopy Christmas ornament. The writer said she was sure that her mother would want me to have it. She remembered the day she and her mother had purchased it.

I carefully unwrapped the little ornament and yes, I sure did cry. There was this little Snoopy wearing a Santa hat and driving a little blue car with a Christmas wreath painted on the front of the car. I knew at that moment I had to thank the person who sent the little gift. Since I had nothing but a first name and no address there was only one thing to do. I had to write another letter to the editor.

My local paper has a rule about letters to the editor. They will only publish one letter per person every thirty days. It had not been near thirty days since my last letter was published. I began my letter by acknowledging that I knew I was asking to break the rules but this was certainly cause for an exception. Then I proceeded with my letter of gratitude. The editor must have been in the spirit of the holidays because my thank-you letter was published the day before Christmas.

The big plastic Snoopy will never be outside again, but he is plugged in, lighted up and smiling and greeting anyone who enters through my front door. He hasn’t been put aside since the night he was mugged. During the rest of the year he sits proudly in our garage. The little Snoopy ornament is never packed away with the other decorations. I keep him out all year to remind myself that somehow, things always seem to balance out. For every jerk in our world who would beat up a plastic Snoopy, there is one sweet person who will share a little porcelain Snoopy. That’s a nice thing to be reminded of all year long.


Blogger Blueberry said...

What jerks! At least Snoopy didn't feel the bruises. Good story!

December 01, 2006 4:33 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

That was a tearjerker! How touching.
I once had my scarecrow stolen at Halloween. I have never been able to replace him.

December 01, 2006 5:12 AM  
Blogger bluegrrrrl said...

Wonderful story!!! Yes, a real tearjerker!

I love the part about shopping for kids toys. I miss having little kids around at christmas. Fortunately one of my nieces is procreating (due on christmas day, actually), so I'll get to buy toys again next year!

December 01, 2006 6:24 AM  
Blogger Peacechick Mary said...

I'm so glad you reprinted this one. I remember it well. My big bag of toys are sitting right here next to me for delivery on Saturday. If the children only knew what happiness we get by giving. I grin the whole time I'm shopping and preparing them to go. Thanks for the reprint - this is a classic.

December 01, 2006 6:57 AM  
Blogger SB Gypsy said...

What a great story. Makes you realise that not everyone out there is into the "everybody for themselves" philosophy.

These days I wish I could just spend all my X-mas money buying toys for little kids with none - instead of on adults who have everything.

December 01, 2006 7:10 AM  
Blogger Pogo said...

Fred, tell PoP for me that she certainly has a wonderful way with words.

December 01, 2006 7:44 AM  
Blogger azgoddess said...

what a wonderful story - thanks for sharing

what i do during this wintery season

is hand out blankets...see, being that our winters are mild, we have droves of homeless come down here -- the homeless population multiples by 10 fold in the wintertime...

and they live beneath the bridges...and go once a day to downtown for food they handout..

so i buy blankets..and hand them out...and try and bring a smile and warmth into someones life...and the best listening to their stories...they are amazing!

December 01, 2006 7:44 AM  
Blogger robin andrea said...

What a great story. My sister works every year at something called "Toys for Tots." It's a labor of love and joy, gathering gifts for children who would otherwise not have. The true spirit of the season.

December 01, 2006 7:57 AM  
Blogger fallenmonk said...

Thanks for relating PoP's story Fred and a great story it is. More story's like this might help some of us feel more like getting the Christmas spirit.

December 01, 2006 8:04 AM  
Anonymous Knox Rover said...

I'm SOOOO glad you're rerunning your Christmas stories! I loved reading them last year. I still say you should write a book of your stories. They're some of the most touching I've ever heard.

December 01, 2006 10:43 AM  
Blogger Katharine said...

What a sweet story! Thank you for sharing it.

December 01, 2006 11:13 AM  
Blogger Turtle Guy said...

"I wrote a letter to our local paper bitching about what had happened. The letter was published and damn it, I felt better for whatever reason."

Bravo! Only someone like PoP could get published - she's... crafty with words and "sit-up-and-pay-attention" head-strong.

I can't wait until she sets about writing your memoirs! ;)

December 01, 2006 12:01 PM  
Blogger Madcap said...

That's a great story, and it's nice to know they still have humans editing the newspapers.

Thanks for stopping by and saying hello!

December 01, 2006 12:18 PM  
Blogger Mimus Pauly said...

Just what has to happen to someone to make them want to trash a plastic Snoopy in a Santa hat? To fire, in effect, an opening shot of a War on Christmas? And where the hell's Bill O'Reilly when you actually need him?

Somehow, I missed this story (and the others) last year. I'm glad you're reprinting them here. This one's very good -- looking forward to the rest...

December 01, 2006 12:42 PM  
Blogger isabelita said...

I hadn't had the pleasure of visiting you at the time of this Snoopy vandalization story, Pop. He's about the only representation of the season I would accept. I kept hearing that little happy dance music of his as I read this.

December 01, 2006 1:02 PM  
Blogger sumo said...

Made tears come to my eyes it did. Thanks Fred for your generosity of spirit and caring at this...and anytime of year for those in need. There are good hearts out there that are not always visible but sometimes by their deeds make this world a better place.

December 01, 2006 3:07 PM  
Blogger Octavian said...

This is my favorite part about christmas!

December 01, 2006 5:38 PM  
Blogger Joseph Ryan said...

wonderful story :-)

December 01, 2006 6:40 PM  
Blogger The Future Was Yesterday said...

Fred, even if he does have to sell the house to pay for that rock, go with them. Trust me on this.

December 01, 2006 10:55 PM  
Blogger Coffee Messiah said...

Great story! Everyday should be like that, everywhere. At least the part about the gift ; )

We've been in the midwest for 11 yrs and have never had a tree! Matter of fact, I've not had one since I left home, way back when. A quilter (a long story) just gave us one of those trees in a box. Unfold and plug in. My girlfriend was wondering how I'd react. I didn't flinch too much. I told her to take it out of the box and we'll plug it in. It's a hoot ; )

Not as heart warming as your story, but when people are spontaneous, no matter the gift, you know it comes from deep within. It all means more than all the money in the world!!!


December 02, 2006 2:06 AM  
Blogger Floridacracker said...

Great story POP. Thank you for sharing it and what a great party idea your friends had.
Keep em coming!

December 02, 2006 7:56 AM  
Blogger Pursey Tuttweiler said...

What a great story, Patricia. I am sorry that Snoopy took that beating, but it is really heartwarming to know that someone cared enough to send you a gift from their deceased mother. This person parted with a true treasure to help a stranger in need. That is wonderful.

December 02, 2006 8:21 AM  
Blogger Kvatch said...

Oh what fun Mr. Pop and I had buying toys. You see we have no children of our own and all of our nieces and nephews are too old for children’s toys.

PoP! I knew that you and I were siblings under the skin! The Frogette and I are in the same situation, though our nieces and nephews are still young enough for toys.

We've achieved "Weird Aunt and Uncle" status. You know those two. Every family has 'em. The couple that pop in for family functions like guest stars and give out presents that are just a wee bit too expensive and that invariable make noise.

December 02, 2006 8:35 AM  
Blogger Tina said...

Oh Fred... your human Mommy has such a wonderful way with words. Do purr especially nicely to her.

And Kvatch... my lifelong beloved gay male friends are BabyGirl's "wealthy weird uncles at the holidays." They spend WAAAAY too much on her birthday and Christmas gifts, and yes... those damn toys always seem to make THE MOST noise possible :)

December 02, 2006 9:29 PM  
Blogger BBC said...

Hey Fred, I'll bet you don't watch football do you? Only humans get into silly things like that.

My cats do get pretty interested in watching my computer monitor as I work though. I wonder what is with that?

December 02, 2006 10:16 PM  
Blogger xoites said...

I loved your story but i think you got the math wrong. For every jerk there are hundreds of good people. The evidence is all around you. Human beings are not extinct.

December 03, 2006 8:53 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

keshmish jooni

beautiful christmas said in apache.

December 03, 2006 9:31 AM  
Blogger paris said...

I hope someone finds that Grinch

December 03, 2006 1:46 PM  
Blogger John Good said...

Great story, POP. . .(wiping nose on sleeve). No. . .really. .. it's just allergies. . .(sniff)

December 03, 2006 7:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also am delighted to see you run your Christmas stories again, and as I did last year, I urge you to find a way to publish them.

- oddjob

December 04, 2006 8:42 PM  
Blogger Granny said...

I love that story. We need reminding perhaps that not all people are jerks.

December 05, 2006 4:38 PM  

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