On Dec. 23, 1960, I was at home watching a Christmas show. I was 9 years old. All of a sudden, I felt very warm. When I turned around I discovered my pants were on fire. I screamed; my older brother, who was 13, put the flames out with a pillow and my younger brother, who was 3, ran to tell my mother. It turned out to be several months of salve and wrapping but my dad did a wonderful job. It is still memorable because at that time I had three brothers. Four days later, on Dec. 27, 1960, my only sister was born.
Every Christmas the siblings would buy gifts for each other, small things that we could afford. We would attempt to disguise the items. Things like record albums were obvious unless you put them in a box to confuse the receiver.
The Christmas of 1964 has always been memorable. Before the school holiday even began, my older brother complained that his slippers were missing. He couldn't find them anywhere. My Barbie doll also went missing. It seems like my dad's pocket knife disappeared and a book belonging to one of my younger brothers was also gone. The ranting and complaining never really stopped.
On Christmas morning, my sister, who was just about 4 years old, came downstairs with presents for all of the siblings. She had wrapped up the slippers, the Barbie doll, the knife and the book, as well as some other items, and presented us all with our "presents." She wanted to participate in the "gift giving" as well. To this day, we still laugh about how much fun that was.