KYA-San Francisco – Pete McNeal – December 23, 1969 –
You used to really like Christmas. But the past few years it’s been the aluminum tree, the beat-up Christmas album your parents got at Sears and a Turkey so dry you could use it for firewood.
Kind of half-hearted. The only thing that saved it was the yearly showing of A Charlie Brown Christmas on TV; a ritual since Junior High. You always felt a kinship with Charlie Brown.
You remember falling out of bed at five in the morning when you were younger. Couldn’t wait to see what was under the tree. Since you turned 13 it’s been underwear and socks and you’re in no hurry to unwrap them. Five a.m. comes and goes and you sleep in.
This year it’s different – you finally graduated high school and went away to college – all the way to San Francisco. You could drive home, even make it in time for Christmas dinner. But no. Not this year. This year it’s hanging out at the dorm. You and the exchange student from Manila; everybody else went home. It’s quiet, it’s empty and you kind of like it.
Well . . . not really. Your girlfriend, who you’ve been in love with since Halloween, is home in Ohio spending Christmas with her family; two brothers, three sisters and she’s never home. Her parents are tired of you calling, especially with a three hour difference and they always seem to be asleep when you do. They call you Roger – your name’s not Roger.
Nope. No Christmas this year. You already got your presents in the mail – more socks, more underwear and a jar of mixed nuts.
What’s the big deal about Christmas anyway.
There’s more people staying on campus for the break than you thought. A bunch of them are outside your dorm window, singing. They know all the words to Christmas Time Is Here.
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