My Real First Christmas

My First Real Christmas by Dorsey McHugh

When I was 15 I got my first job at the blue line drive in.  I made (what seemed like)  a lot of money that summer and managed to keep a hundred dollars in my savings account.  My older sister Kit, who had gone off to the university of Chicago a couple years earlier announced to the family in November that she and her boyfriend were getting married on Christmas Eve.   This meant that we all had to drive across the Midwest in my grandmothers new green DeSoto.  This was quite a financial stretch for our parents and we were gently told that the trip was going to have to be our Christmas present.   Still, we celebrated an early Christmas with our tree dressed in bubbling lights,  tinsel,  and a few presents.  The plan was to leave by midnight and drive through the night.  The idea had come to me a few days earlier to withdraw my summer savings as a surprise for Dad.  So I waited until the last gift was opened and then presented him with the envelope containing a crisp 100 dollar bill.    He stared at it for a few seconds and then of course he cried………and laughed.  I knew he understood what I was saying to him.  It meant more to me though.  I had given my first gift.

This was my first real Christmas.