Tuesday, December 10, 2019

A Very Short Christmas Visit

"The bourbon was a gift," she said, "and I made the cookies myself." Everybody in the room knew that neither statement was true, but nobody said a word. Visiting Aunt Claire on Christmas Eve was something of a trial at the best of times. At least since they'd bought her the television, they could watch the Danny Thomas Show and not have to talk much. After an hour or so, they'd open their gifts: elaborately wrapped cartons of Chesterfields for the men, new nylons or old gloves for the women, and for the children, always more of that weird, tweed outerwear she ordered from the back pages of Yankee Magazine. "That should keep everybody warm!" she'd say, and everyone would try to laugh.
"When that old lady dies," Uncle Teddy always said after, "she better have Grand-dad's war-bonds under her mattress." But she didn't.

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