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The Spirit of Christmas Present

My dad, full of festive cheer, bought a singing Santa hat last year.  Not only does it sing, it flips back and forth in time to the music.  This is Santa Hat 2.0.  The first one, bought many years ago, just flipped back and forth when you squeezed the bobble on the end.  This one has vocals.

Anyway, he bought this hat, and to go with it he found a vest at the Salvation Army.  This was a very special vest. This was a vest with snowmen on it, front and back, snowmen wearing little scarves that had actual fringe that hung off the vest.  And one of the snowmen had little lights.  Real little flashing lights powered by a battery pack concealed in a small red sack topped by a bow. Just when you thought there could be no further addition to his festive attire, he would whip out a snowman-shaped Pez dispenser. But only for people who could really demonstrate that they were in the Christmas spirit.

This outfit formed a large part of the Christmas holiday.  He wore it on the plane.  He wore it to the coffee shop in the morning.  And he wore it for our family dinner out the night before Christmas Eve.  This drew stares of equal admiration and horror from the other diners.  But we didn’t care.  We were having a good time, and we were ready for everybody to share in that good time.  Pez was dispensed, dances were danced, pictures were taken (not just by us) and good cheer flowed.

The best bit was on the plane.  It wasn’t a very large plane, and my dad had brought with him a suitcase roughly the size of a baby elephant.  Despite many spurious looks from other passengers with trim little cases, Dad was smugly able to prove that it fit (barely) within the regulation carry-on size. We wheeled smoothly past them, the McDonald family bedecked in festive gear, overflowing with holiday atmosphere like a bunch of Whos down in Whoville.

Anyway, there we were on the plane, Dad having just got his suitcase in the overhead bin, when the stewardess asked us to move it to the bin on the other said of the aisle to keep the weight evenly distributed.  It was that kind of plane.  So Dad fussed about pulling the thing down and trying to cram it in the bin on the other side, where it stubbornly refuses to fit.  Down it comes and back it goes over where it was originally.  You could feel the rage of as-yet-unseated passengers behind us building.

To relieve the tension, Dad decided to turn on the singing Santa hat.  Unfortunately, what with the plane being so small,  suddenly the hat bobble was banging the luggage bin door, drumming the roof of the plane, and clanking against the opposite bin door, all in time to the strains of “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas.”  When Dad tried to sit down and get out of the way, the bobble bounced alarmingly off the oxygen mask door.  Behind us, people leaned around each other to see which festive idiot was breaking the plane.

Finally the McDonald family managed to settle festively, if somewhat chastened, in our seats.  Dad offered the stewardess a snowman Pez, which she accepted in good humor.  The singing Santa hat had worked its magic once again.