Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Nancy Drew and Reindeer Games

Hey y'all! Someone please tell me where the month of November went? That sucker zoomed by and now it' guessed it, December! I am excited about doing lots of Christmas posts so I'd better get on it!

I wanted to share with you my pitiful clay Rudolph. I'm going to start at the end and work my way back. When I went home to visit my family in June, my Mom came into the kitchen with a little cardboard box full of paper towels and after reaching inside, handed me this guy:

I hadn't forgotten about him. Not at all. I'd just lost track of him and was amazed to see that he was still among us. I remembered it like it was yesterday - the day that I made this as a little kid. I was in grade school and wanted to make Santa an extra special gift to leave with the cookies and milk. I'm not sure if I was being extra nice because I was gunning for something special or if I was just a kid who loved Santa - probably both!

So, I got out my Play-Doh and made a tiny little version of Rudolph. See that pink nose? It used to be red. And those smooshy things on top of his head? You guessed it, antlers! On Christmas Eve, I left this little guy out for Santa and the next morning, just like I figured...he was gone! I remember imagining how tickled Santa must have been to get a bonus gift from my house. I figured he circled my name on his list for next year and made a note: "Kitten, Barbie Dream House AND speed skates". In like Flynn! Those other kids all over the world with their simple-minded cookies and milk - what fools!

Fast forward to many months later - or gosh, it could have been a couple of years - but I was still a kid. My parents had left the house on an errand and just like my brother and I would do, we played private investigators. Okay, that's just my way of saying that we rambled through my parents' dresser drawers. Yes, we were horrible. No wonder I thought I should bribe Santa with reindeer replicas! I probably should have slipped him a twenty as well. Anyway, when I was investigating in my Mom's bottom dresser drawer, I came across this box. Inside, there was a huge wad of paper towels wrapped around something. My mind raced: "It has to be something good! Bottom drawer! My Mom wasted paper towels! She hates it when we waste paper towels!" I looked around to make sure that my brother was rambling in his own territory and that I wouldn't have to share whatever this wondrous find would be. Why, it could be chocolate bars...or his adoption papers...who knew?

I slowly unwrapped the secret center as the paper towels unraveled to Rudolph! I sat back down on the floor and stared at it. Probably not even breathing with my Hubba Bubba hanging out of my mouth. It was like I'd just seen a ghost. What was Rudolph doing at MY HOUSE?! I immediately knew....yes, I knew. Oh no, not what you're thinking. You're thinking that being the bright kid that I was, I'd figured out the truth about Santa Claus, right? Oh no...I immediately knew that my Mom was a petty thief! She had coveted my reindeer so much that she stole it right out from under Santa's nose! Holy wow!

At first, I felt disappointment - that my Mom was a thief AND that Santa didn't get my amazing gift. Then after a moment, the wheels started turning (or maybe my mind went into self-preservation mode) and I felt the biggest sense of pride because I realized that my Mom only stole the Rudolph from Santa's cookie plate because it was SO FREAKING AWESOME! I was a real artist. Yes, sir. My brother may have been the one taking the fancy art classes but my Mom was defying the "Thou Shalt Not Steal" commandment just to own MY art....and we were Southern Baptists!

Making a mental note to pray for her salvation later, I quickly wrapped Rudolph back up in his paper towel shroud and tucked him back into the bottom drawer, sneaked out of my parents' bedroom and walked away with a big smile. I knew my Mom's secret AND I knew...just KNEW that with my amazing artistic skills, I was going to be somebody someday. I'd impressed my Mom and Moms...well, they've seen it all!

Now fast-forward back to my Mom's kitchen. In a way (and I am going to get syrupy), I was right because even over thirty years later, my Mom still had that little crumpled reindeer. I doubt we would be able to say that for Santa.

Until next time (did you know that thirty year old Play-Doh still smells the same as day old Play-Doh?)..
x's and o's,


Barbara said...


My mom saved nothing.

When dad died, I found my first place award for the science fair in his papers. At least HE cared...


I covet your reindeer.

Eartha Kitsch said...

Aww! Yes, but he DID care and that's a great thing. I sucked at science fair if it makes you feel any better. :)

Betty2Tone said...

That's the cutest thing I've heard all day.

Eartha Kitsch said...

Aww! Thanks Betty2Tone! :)

Cute but also very cutting-edge, right? I want to think that I was mostly rebel.

Unknown said...

awww how sweet! :) you are a real artist! :)

Eartha Kitsch said...

Hee! Thanks for believing in me, Monica! :)

Betty2Tone said...

I just love how instead of thinking there was no Santa, you thought your Mom stole it. I guess that is pretty cutting edge!

Eartha Kitsch said...

Ha! I know, I was pretty distrusting of authority figures even at that young age. I wasn't going to go doubtin' Santa though. You doubt Santa and he stops coming.

Anonymous said...

Eartha, wonderful story, beautifully written! And such an adorable reindeer. XOXO boots

Eartha Kitsch said...

Thanks so much! I now own that reindeer and hope that I'll have someone to pass him down to and that he won't end up in an estate sale with people giggling at him. :)

Sara In AZ said...

Wait, are you telling me there REALLY is no Santa?????

PS - I LOVE this story girl, and the reindeer! And, your Mom is an angel from heaven isn't she?

Straight Talking Mama! said...

That is about the cutest story I've heard, awwwwww!

I have to say us kids in the UK had the upper hand, no cookies & milk for Santa here, Mince pie (which I've learned is a mincemeat tart in the US) and a glass of beer or whisky!

Mind you maybe by the time he reached the US he needed the milk to sober up ;o)

Sherrie said...

So sweet! Better than a Christmas miracle! And how cool that it still has that great smell...I would never have guessed.

Eartha Kitsch said...

Sara: No..No! There IS a Santa. Don't you worry. Just ask that elf of his that you live with. The one with the mad fix-it-up skills!

And yep, I'm pretty sure that she is. :)

Straight Talking Mama: Thanks! Really? Mince pie and beer or whiskey? I can see Santa liking your side of things a lot better than ours!

Sherrie: Thanks, you! I still does though. Flashback smell.

cheshirecat666 said...

Like Celine Dion said to Kathy Griffin : "you and your stories!"

I LOVE your stories!! I was on the edge with that one waiting to see what conclusion your young brain was gonna come up with. It turned out perfect :)

And I adore the reunion of old childhood artifacts...sigh

Eartha Kitsch said...

Eee! I love Kathy Griffin! I'll take it. :)

And thank you for your sweet words. I know that you of all people know how great it is to be able to be in touch with childhood even as an adult. I think it's a real gift if we have good memories of childhood as many people don't.

Lisa said...

I love the "MOM...! You STOLE from SANTA? How could you?" reasoning. Oh my gosh. Plus, the reindeer is precious. AND the suspense pacing of this story was tops. Five christmas stars awarded!

Willowfan said...

Awe wonderful story and it's true you are a great artist!
Thanks so much for sharing your childhood with us. Oh yeah, and Kathy Griffin is hilarious and almost as good a story teller as you.
Jenny AKA Willowfan

Lynn said...

This story makes me love you even more! - if that is possible.

Thanks for sharing.

Sidney said...

I love your style, Eartha. I look forward to more of your posts.

And Rudolph is PRECIOIUS!

Hmmm... Now I want me some ranch... Must go forage.

Happy Holidays!

me and the other me said...

every time i think you can't write anything better, you pull something like this out of your hat. i laughed until i cried! when did you tell opal? (or did you- snoopy girl!)