The One About the Holidays

I just love the holidays. There’s all the food and family and garlands you can hang yourself with. I was told recently that my deeply embedded hatred for Christmas music stems from not having grown up with proper holiday traditions. To that end, I say:

  1. Did so grow up with proper holiday traditions
  2. And Rudolph still sucks

Anyway, I know several families that go out shopping together on Black Friday, which is supposed to be one of their traditions. My family would rather dig our eyes out with spoons. Black Friday is not us, but we do have Estate Sales. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, it’s a lot like a Black Friday Sale. Everyone lines up. Everyone waits in the cold. Everyone bum-rushes the door so they can check out the stuff inside. In this case, a dead person’s antiques.

Yeah, yeah, it sounds gruesome, but it’s not that much different from Wal-Mart on Christmas Eve. Some of those old ladies fighting over Snuggies really are dead. They just don’t know it yet.

Anyway, my sister and I went with my mom for years. In fact, I’m reasonably certain that’s why she had us in the first place. Antique dealers who would stab another adult for turn of the century Wedgewood china think twice about shiving a kid. Well, they think about it briefly and that’s when Merrill and I would strike, smacking our hands or feet down on whatever had caught our mom’s eye. Looking back, it was kind of like a musty version of Twister.

You see the deal is as long as the item is in your hands, it’s yours. But the minute you put it down to look at something else/rub feeling back into your frozen fingers/wave to your mother for help, it’s fair game. You had to be aggressive. You could not show fear. And you could never, ever believe the lady eyeballing your mother’s stash of vintage linens really had a puppy that wanted to meet you.

We brought home some interesting stuff. There were the unused saddles, the floppy-eared rabbit, the 18th century French tapestry…there was also a gold-filigreed mummy lamp from the 1920s.

Oh, yes, I hear you. You’re asking who would want a mummy lamp that opens up to reveal the sexy, half-naked lady mummy inside.

The better question is who wouldn’t?

By the time I was ten, I could correctly identify different variations on Depression glass and Royal Dalton teacups.

Which was really useful stuff. ‘Cause, you know, that’s what normal kids discuss at the elementary school lunch table.

Yeah, right.

Anywho. What didn’t work with my classmates did end up working with all the, um, gentlemen working up at my mom’s Buckhead antiques shop. We got on brilliantly. Mostly, I think they liked me because I could correctly use “going to have the vapors” in a sentence and was willing to retrieve fallen nail polish bottles.

‘Cause picking stuff up off the floor is a bitch when your nails aren’t dry.

It was great. I used to sit at the front counter and listen to the guys bicker. I was seventeen before I realized most people do not expect to see a six-foot, forty-year-old man wearing a gold lamé evening gown, but, in his defense, it was Christmastime…and he was rocking it.

So, however you celebrate your holidays, I hope you enjoy them.