i've told you what my favorite Christmas gift ever was, but how about my favorite Christmas? Christmas of 1996, my dad had had to follow his new job to Syracuse, New York while me my mom and brother stayed in Soddy Daisy so as not to take me and my brother out of our school. my dad ended up being in Syracuse for Christmas that year so the Ritchey family packed up our things and headed up there for the holidays.
talk about a white Christmas! we shut down schools, work and roadways at the first flake of snow down here, but those crazy New Yorkers were going about their daily business as foot after foot of snow fell. it was awesome! so now we had our family together for Christmas, all that was missing was the tree and decorations!
for our tree, we had to go with a real one since it didn't make sense to purchase a fake tree for this unusual Christmas in Syracuse, so we packed in the car and headed to the local tree farm. me and my brother threw snowballs at each other, and we ran through the thousands of trees at the farm searching for just the right one. after coming to a consensus on a quality tree, my dad had been given a saw from the tree-farmer and we cut the evergreen down there on the spot, and drug it through the snow as a family to be wrapped and placed on top of the car.
getting back to the apartment my dad was staying at, we unloaded the tree and set it up in a corner of the living room. here was the thing though. we didn't have any Christmas decorations to go on this beautiful, great-smelling Christmas tree! what to do??? well it just so happened that this was the Christmas that McDonalds was giving away 101 Dalmation happy meal toys to coincide with the release of the new live-action movie. do you know that all of those toys could double as a ornanment? i don't think my mom did either.
after much begging and pleading, my mom allowed me and my brother to 'decorate' the tree in black and white. the little puppies covered the tree from head to toe with the collection me and my brother had put together of these spotted dogs from the fast food giant. the theme was definitely different than what my mom was used to, but she was happy to have the family together...even if it was 800 miles away from home and with plastic dalmation puppies on our beautiful Christmas tree.