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The Seventh Day Of Christmas (Patty)

written by Shannon Bryan

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Published: 1997 | Size: 5 KB (980 words) | Language: english | Rating: PG-13

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based on stories and characters created by Winnie Holzman

It's the Seventh Day of Christmas. That means it's Patty's turn.


Well, naturally, I *love* Christmas.  It's the one time of the year where everyone smiles.  Plus, it is the one time of year I can actually get my family to go ice skating.

But to be honest, the season also comes with a lot of pressure.  For everything to be perfect.  For everything you planned to get done.  Sometimes it almost seems like the holidays are more about the race, the *doing* instead of just the *being*.

I guess I'm not making sense.  All I really mean is that sometimes we take so much time preparing for Christmas, and spending "quality time" (whatever that means) with our families, that we never actually have time to spend with our families.

Goodness.  I sound like such a Grinch.  Honestly, I *do* love Christmas.

My favorite Christmas memories?  I have quite a few.

I guess one of my favorite Christmastimes was the one when I was 12.  It was sort of perfect.  I remember I got the most beautiful dress.  My father said it made me look like a princess.

That was also the last Christmas before my parents finally told me that I was adopted.  They were just listening to the experts, I know that.  I just had the bad luck to be adopted during the time when the experts all changed their minds.  From "treat them just like any child" to "be open and honest with them".  It's not like anything changed after that, not how we acted.  But maybe how I felt inside.  I still acted the same, but for the first time the way I acted was maybe, well, an *act*.  I felt very uncertain of things in my life after that.  I had a hard time trusting in things.  In people.  Maybe I still do.  Which I know is not fair.  To my parents.  Or to Graham.  But the pressure to be perfect just intensified after that year.

Another great Christmas was when I was 15.  It was the last Christmas that I got to spend with my maternal Grandmother.  I remember she still made donuts for all the cousins.  And we sang carols while we put sugar and cinnamon all over the donut holes.  And her voice was beautiful.  It always was.  And we all teased her about her new perm.  And she just laughed it off.

I know now that it was a wig, of course.  But back then, they didn't tell us she was sick.  "The big C".  They didn't talk about it then.  At least not in front of the children.  I'm not sure that helps.  But maybe it did though.  Maybe if they had told us, we couldn't have let her stand over the huge fryer for hours making us homemade donuts.  And we never would have joked about her hair.  So maybe they were right in a way.

I keep straying from talking about Christmas, don't I?

My other favorite Christmas was the one about nine years ago.  I think when Angela was six.  It was the last year she still sort of believed in Santa.  When Danielle and Angela both believed Christmas was so magical.  Graham and I almost believed again too.  And Graham would make caramels, and we'd go ice skating and then come back and snuggle on the couch and read The Night Before Christmas.  And Graham would always shimmy on the "bowlful of jelly" line.  And the girls would *always* laugh.  They smiled so easily.  And perfection didn't take so much work.

I guess I've talked a lot about "the last Christmas before," haven't I?

I think all people do that.  We always remember "the last time before" with such fondness.  The last time before I found out I was adopted.  Before my Grandmother died.  Before the girls stopped believing.  Maybe I'm looking through rose-colored glasses at it all.  My parents must have dreaded telling me.  And all the adults must have been so upset the year Grandma was sick.  I guess I *do* tend to idealize the past.  And maybe I should try to stop that.

Because I have a lot of Christmastimes to look forward to.  With the girls.  Watching them grow.  And one day, having some girls of their own. 

It's always girls in our family.  All my Mother's sisters had girls.  So they weren't surprised when I had girls.  They said, "it runs in the family."

I always just smiled at that, and laughed a little on the inside.  They sometimes forget that I'm adopted.  I guess I forget myself.  Sometimes.

So I hope you all have a perfect Christmas.

No, strike that.

Just try to have a happy Christmas.  Take the time to actually enjoy it.  Even if some things fall by the wayside.  Because every Christmas may be "the last time before" something.

Okay everybody, sing along!
That's right, even you guys sitting in the back!

(music = ON)

On the seventh day of Christmas a bored Patty  gave to me swans of origami...

six pairs of handcuffs,
five cotton swabs,
four invisible cats,
three yummy lollies,
two free Dead tickets,
and one out of state fake ID.

Didja hear? Some Jewish girl from Texas is scheduled next. See you then!

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The Eighth Day Of Christmas (Hallie) by Shannon Bryan and E.R. Holdridge (Shobi)
Published: 1997 | Size: 7 KB (1242 words) | Language: english english | Rating: PG-13
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