Standing On A Chair

Telling it like I see it…

On Christmas with My Daughter

When I think of Christmases with my daughter, there are two which come to mind most:  1) the one when she was almost two; and 2) the one when she was thirteen.  But really, all of them were wonderful in their own way.  Or at the very least, they were momentous.

Christmas 1977, Santa Monica, California

This was my absolute favorite.  It was Farrah’s second Christmas, but I always count this one as the “real first.”  We lived in a tiny one-bedroom bungalow on Ocean Park Boulevard.  This was the home we fled to upon leaving her father in July of the same year.  I was absolutely dizzy with happiness, for now it was just the two of us.  We didn’t have much.  We really didn’t need much.  She slept in her crib in the bedroom, and I slept in the living room on the fold-out couch.  The building was old even then, but it was really quaint, with a breakfast nook, a full kitchen, and lots of built-in shelves in the bathroom.  

Our first tree was a table-size Fraser Fir.  I had it flocked, and festooned it with all new red shiny ornaments, and those old fashioned lights, all red too.  Farrah totally loved it.  She’d stare at it for what seemed like forever, reaching up and touching it every so often.  Sometimes she’d even shriek and clap her hands; she was so taken with it.  She was too young to understand Santa Clause, but I told her endlessly about him anyway.  And Christmas morning, when I woke her up and took her to the tree, now with lots of pretty presents, she giggled and pointed.  It was all just so damned adorable.  I hugged her so hard, then we sat on the floor and she began to learn all about the traditions of the holiday. 

It’s important to note that she was positively over the moon with just a few new toys. 

More Christmases followed, each more exciting than the last.  She so loved Santa, I could bribe her to be good starting as far back as, like, August.  My shopping for her consisted of filling up two carts at Toys R Us for under a hundred bucks.  It was so much fun buying her new things, and it was so affordable, I went nuts!  It took hours for her to open them all! 

Big mistake.

Christmas 1989, Gainesville, Florida

Farrah was now thirteen.  Santa Clause bribery had stopped working, of course.  And that cute, cuddly little girl with the curly, strawberry-blonde hair had been replaced by a beautiful, adolescent, fang-toothed monster with boobs.

I take all the blame.

I was terrible with discipline.  And she had two strikes against her:  one, she was an only child; and two, she was the only child of a single mother. I was overwhelmed by feelings of guilt. Can you say O-V-E-R C-O-M-P-E-N-S-A-T-E?

Since she’d turned twelve, I’d had fantasies of putting her up for adoption, sending her to a shelter for ungovernable youth, or even wishing she had a father I could ship her off to.

Don’t get me wrong.  She was a self-motivated, high achiever in academics and in athletics.  And truth be told, I so adored and worshiped this child.  She was amazing in so many ways, I was proud of her all the time.  But living with her just sucked.  We fought World War III each morning before work and school.  Every time I opened her bedroom door, I pulled back a bloody stump.  Eating dinner with her was so entirely unpleasant I started serving it to her on a tray in her bedroom with her door closed.  We were both much happier with that situation. 

Ah, but I have severely digressed from my “Flowery Christmas Story” theme. 

So back to Christmas 1989.  True to tradition, the family always came over early Christmas morning so we could all watch Farrah open her presents.  This particular year, I had really struggled with the shopping.  Her “toys” were all much more expensive, and she loved clothes.  Nonetheless, I managed to still create a pretty good wonderland under the tree.  Farrah was appropriately excited, and as we watched her tear open all her gifts, I felt a surge of love for her.  As usual, the torn wrapping paper was a three-foot-deep sea of color all over the living room floor.  Farrah had to tilt her head upward to be seen in the middle of it all. 

And as she did just that, she asked in amazement, “Is this all there is?”

I pray she has a girl baby one day.


December 21, 2010 - Posted by | Adolescent females | , ,


  1. LMAO……hysterical!

    Comment by Brenda | December 21, 2010 | Reply

  2. i learn more and more about you with every story. don’t stop. love missy

    Comment by Pam Smith | December 21, 2010 | Reply

    • I am so excited and happy you’re reading my blog, Miss! Thank you so much. I miss you. I will keep telling stories, you can count on that!

      Comment by standingonachair | December 21, 2010 | Reply

  3. I will never live that down!

    Comment by Farrah | December 28, 2010 | Reply

  4. The Tray transformed Farrah. It transformed me. 😛

    Comment by crackfishcrackers | January 1, 2011 | Reply

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