I know you all are thinking, “all of your childhood Christmases could not have been great.” True, true – into every life a little rain must fall. Imagine if you will, a bright eyed seven year old going through the Sears catalog. Never before had she requested a specific gift from her parents – for she was too gracious for that sort of thing. However, this year one item called to her and yearned to be hers. The item of desire – a Snoopy Sno Cone Maker. This young girl adored Snoopy, who couldn’t love Snoopy. There would be no Charlie Brown without Snoopy. Snoopy was cool. Even Lucy was jealous of Snoopy’s coolness. That year, all she circled in the Sears toy catalogue was a Snoopy Sno Cone Maker.
Christmas Day arrived and a box resembling the size of a Snoopy Sno Cone Maker lay in her section of gifts on the sofa. Oh what joy, what disappointment. It was not a Snoopy Sno Cone Maker but instead a Mr. Planter’s peanut butter maker. What Gringe, Ebenezer Scrooge would do such a fiendish thing! Mr. Planter was no Snoopy. He wasn’t even a cartoon. He just danced around with a top hat talking about peanuts. That year, a little girl’s heart received a dent that remained for years. Why? Why? The next Christmas she hoped redemption would come and a Snoopy Sno Cone Maker would be hers, no such luck. She despised the two feet Mr. Planter monstrosity! What type of forced child labor is this? If I want a PB&J I have to make my own peanut butter. She had to draw a line in the sand. Instead of using it to make peanut butter, she used it to sharpen crayons. Evil contraption haunted her sleep and put a dark cloud over Christmases to come. So much so, that when she became an aunt, each Christmas she would tell the tale of no Snoopy Sno Cone Maker.
As an adult, she found the strength to confront her mother over the Mr. Planter incident. Her mother put on a sincere face and said that she could not find a Snoopy Sno Cone Maker. It was sold out everywhere. But why Mr. Planters?! The mother said in a practical voice that only mothers use, “you were a picky eater and loved peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, so I thought it would be a good alternative.” This answer did not lessen the blow to the daughter’s wounded heart. The daughter said then why not the next Christmas? The mother responded she didn’t think her daughter would want it then.
The daughter begin to wonder if what her older sibling said was true. Was she adopted? Everybody else received what they wanted for Christmas? Was this yet another slight against the middle child?! It was bad enough there were no baby pictures of me. So the daughter, now aunt, relayed the story to her nieces and nephews, on how grateful they should be that they had an aunt that loved them enough to get them what they wanted.
If patience is a virtue, this daughter now aunt exercised it. Twenty Christmases after requesting a Snoopy Sno Cone Maker, while repeating the tale to the nieces and nephews she noticed a box under the tree with her name. Jokingly, she said, “the only thing that would make this perfect is if this is a Snoopy Sno Cone Maker.” Wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles! On my 27th Christmas, my younger sister found an old school Snoopy Sno Cone Maker. What joy! Finally. Excited the aunt took her nieces and nephews to the kitchen to show off the long waited for sno cone maker. It took about 10 minutes to make a sno cone, so one by one the nieces and nephews left the kitchen – they couldn’t wait that long. I can’t recall what else I received that Christmas, but I know it was a good one.
But wait, don’t cheer. Tragedy stuck in the form of an evil older sibling. A couple of years after finally receiving my Snoopy Sno Cone Maker, my niece called. “Auntie, I have bad news for you. Mommy threw out your Snoopy Sno Cone Maker.” NOOOOO!!!! During law school I moved around so I left Snoopy at home. My niece, sensing her aunt’s anxiety offered “you can play with my Spongebob Snow Cone Maker.” Blasphemy. Her aunt protested, “Spongebob is no Snoopy!” My niece, “auntie you just have to get over this because Snoopy is gone.” (hold back tears as I write this traumatic moment)
My sister did this because she knew I loved Snoopy – accident my foot. She was just jealous that her favorite cartoon character didn’t have a toy – Bugs Bunny was smug just like her. If we were still kids, I would have told on her. Instead, I did the mature adult thing. Since then, each Christmas I get her kids a loud noise making gift, with extra batteries. My revenge for the death and loss of Snoopy. I heard the karaoke machine caused her much discomfort last year. Muuuuahh!!