Christmas. I love Christmas. I don’t just love it, I embrace it. I live it.
My family wasn’t and still isn’t rich or wealthy in the monetary sense, not even comfortable but always scraping and getting by. Even to this day the desire to spend what money I have to spoil those I love with Christmas gifts is often hampered by financial woes, but somehow, I find a way to wrap gifts to give, meager as they may be.
I can remember as a kid, maybe 5 or 6, pulling a sled from the apartment we lived over to my Grandparents house two blocks away in the snow and then later in the day pulling the same sled home loaded with as many gifts that I could fit on it. We’re talking about the early 1960’s here, a different and simpler time.
As the years went by, my eyes never stopped widening on Christmas morning and the excitement of the coming Christmas day never ceases. Even now as I approach my sixth decade of existence I still get all giddy about Christmas. Some have gone as far as to call me a Christmas Brat. Fine, I gladly accept the label and will wear it proudly. The reason for this label is because, well, I issue a Christmas list to my family every year and have done so for as long as I can remember. Sure the list has changed over the years but the idea hasn’t. If you get me something off this list, regardless of what you pick, you will be getting me something that I would like. There is no guessing and no sinking fake smile when I open that fur mailbox that sings when I open it because you “thought” I would like it. I don’t and I wouldn’t. Save yourself, look at the list and the great thing about the list is that regardless of what you get off that list, I still don’t know what it is until I open it. It is still a surprise. THAT, is the fun part.
When I was younger, it was all kid stuff. Toys, games and such. Then it evolved into car stuff and more expensive items. Eventually, I got the idea to put anything I desired on the list knowing full well that there was no way in hell I would ever get them, but it was funny to see on the list. Things like a boat, a Jeep, a trip to Germany, a Harley. Of course practical things made it to the list as well, like a bag of pretzels, a box of Red Rose Tea, a book, a bag of M&M’s, a bottle of Coke.
That is what makes my list so tolerable in that it is so ridiculous. Item #3 may be a 2018 Harley Sportster but item #4 might be a request for breakfast at IHOP or a pack of gum. It’s the first thing that pops into your head, what your stomach would like, what your mouth wants to taste or what would be satisfying at any particular time. It’s just the things you like. One year I had on the list “Dinner with my wife at The Ark” (a local restaurant in town). So you see, it’s not just about stuff, it’s also about people.
Truth be told, it’s not just about getting, it’s also about participation. My list is also a form of encouragement to those who get the list to participate and get involved in the season of giving. A means to action. A method to motivate those who would rather “Bah-Humbug” Christmas than participate in it simply because it’s “too much effort to figure out what to get you”.
Shut up, get over yourself, here’s my list, this is easy, Merry Christmas.
I have gotten Harley or motorcycle stuff for Christmas, usually clothing or some sort of gear for the bike. Sometimes it wasn’t on the list, but people know me and what I like. Those who don’t know me that well…… I refer you to my list.
The opening picture is of a 1964 Harley Davidson M-50 a market competitive bike actually built by Aemecchi of Italy and had the HD badge put on it. The 50cc two-stroke was a panic creation by HD to battle the influx of similar Honda bikes. At the time, this poorly marketed little scoot would set you back $225. While these were sold up to 1972, Harley’s poor marketing ultimately killed it when it actually deserved much better treatment since it actually wasn’t that bad. Compared to many Mopeds now, this little bike in excellent restored condition can sell for up to $6000 now. But I can promise you, it’s not on my Christmas list.