My mom loved Christmas. She loved decorating and baking various cookies. (My favorite were, and still are, the Peanut Butter Blossoms—with the chocolate Kiss.) She was also one of those mothers who loved stacking her kids presents under the tree. However, each child must have the same number of gifts and the same money spent on them—no showing favortism! But she didn’t stop with her children and grandchildren.
When we moved to Texas in 1972, my brothers and I bought a dachsund puppy for our parents’ anniversary. My mom named her Samantha Hushpuppy. Sam quickly became another member of the family with all the Christmas benefits due her.
When the holiday rolled around, she received her share of wrapped gifts under the tree along with the rest of us. Of course, hers were doggy treats or toys. She sniffed them out, knew which ones belonged to her, and guarded them against any all Christmas-doggy-treat thieves.
My brother and sister-in-law brought their dog over (only once). Each time he went near the tree, Sam raced over to it, got in his face, and showed her fangs with the warning, “Get your own treats, bud!”. Don’t worry, he did.
Sam had more patience than most children. Even though the presents sat under the tree for a couple of weeks, she never tore into them until given permission on Christmas day. Afterward, there was little left of the pretty wrapping paper and, generally, the box. One year, her presents had been left within reach after being opened. She ate so many dog treats during the day her stomach bloated to twice its normal size. Poor thing. She looked miserable, but she recovered to enjoy more Christmases.
It’s hard to think of the holiday without remembering both my mom and Sam. They’re both gone and the holiday isn’t the same. But I’ll always chuckle when thinking of the way they enjoyed their Christmas celebrations.
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Amazon. She’s the married mother of a young adult and lives in North Carolina.
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