Christmas day! We played with our toys all day. I really liked the way new dolls smelled, almost like real babies. They were so warm, cuddly and refreshing. I especially liked the dolls that wet on themselves. After they drank enough water, they’d wet their diaper and us little mamas had to change them.
For some strange reason, I don’t like a bright, sunny Christmas. I like a dull, overcast day. Perhaps it makes it seem more like the first Christmas in the little town of Bethlehem. I’m not sure why I feel this way, so if no one else shares my sentiments about this holiday, then I’m the odd ball.
Anyway, Christmas was a day when we got fireworks. The kind that are now banned by certain cities. I’m glad they weren’t a problem for us. Come to think of it, I don’t think the ban would have extended out as far as we lived, but in the little town of Hope, anyone could buy firecrackers. I think this little piece of ammunition was meant for boys, but I shot off Christmas firecrackers with them until they were all gone. I loved to light them, toss them as far as I could and clasp my hands over my ears before they popped themselves to pieces, exploding into smithereens. Everybody, including my Dad, seemed to like lighting those little dynamite sticks. I guess all adults become children at Christmastime.
Then we had these things called “Sparkles.” I haven’t seen any since I’ve grown up, but they were plentiful during the 50s. We didn’t light them until night when (with the lights off) they gave off a bright, star-like glow. Our eyes were transfixed on that little glowing stick until the last sparkle died. It was magical, and I couldn’t help but wonder how it was made, but it put a little sparkle in our dull, drab day.
There was this thing that we called a “curly snake.” That’s probably not the proper name, but it went like this: There was this little circular device that was put on the floor. One end was lit, and as it burned, it curled up and up until it looked like a snake that was burned out of its skin. I also wondered how that one was made too. Contraptions like that fascinated me, because I always liked to know every detail of how something works and why, but the mechanical side of those devices, I never figured out. I did enjoy each of them, though.
I almost forgot about the torpedoes. I called this small device a mini hand grenade. It was a small, round, marble-like thing that had to be thrown against a hard surface before it would “explode” with a loud, sharp cracking sound.
Last but not least, we had “rockets” – probably not the proper name, but this was a device that had to be lit outside (like the firecrackers) and at a safe distance from the house or anything that could catch on fire. Only the “snakes” and sparkles could be lit and played with in the house. The rocket was shaped and looked just like an actual rocket. It had a stem underneath the bottom that was lit. Once it was lit, it had to be sort of tossed upward and on its own. It shot into the sky and wiggled and twirled all around until it burned itself out. We always tried to guess where it would land. Of course, they never landed where we guessed.
If we had any other explosive devices, I can’t think of them, but these five small objects were enough to make our Christmas pop, sparkle, hiss and shine. We spent the day eating and playing with our toys. At night, we went to church for the Christmas play.
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