Last night, after a heavenly dinner of shrimp scampi, a new Dunnevant family Christmas tradition made its debut. My wife got the idea from some old friends of ours on Facebook…and when Pam gets an idea, watch out! Soon, I received an e-mail invitation notifying me that I was to prepare for a night of caroling and Christmas light viewing topped off by a visit to Krispy Kreme. The attire was to be pajamas only, and hot apple cider would be provided.
So there we were at 7 o’clock, Pam, Kaitlin, Jon and myself piling into Ron and Paula’s disagreeable old Buick. Never one to leave the house unprepared, Pam brought a couple of bags of popcorn (two flavors) and enough blankets to warm a platoon of men at Bastogne. First stop was out in Hanover County at the home of Roger and Cynthia Harris, dear friends who suffered a terrible loss recently. Unfortunately, they weren’t home, a predictable result of such spontaneity. Undeterred, our hearty band then set out to carol our new-Mom niece, Christina. We got halfway through our second number when we remembered how much Ezra hates music, “No Sing!!!” We imagined him inside, perhaps seconds away from falling asleep only to be roused into hysteria by this crazy band of random singing monsters outside of his window. Kid will probably be scarred for life! However, all was not lost, since we got to see little Evelyn for the first time. Adorable child.
One more caroling stop at Pam’s parents’ house and finally success. Russ and Vi had just gotten home from church and were still adorned in Christmas finery. One out of three ain’t bad.
Then we decided that the Christmas light show would have to wait until we were properly fortified with Krispy Kreme doughnuts, or what we in Richmond, Virginia like to call them…H.A.B.’s( heart attack bait). Of course, the red “ready light” was shining brightly and the place was packed. It was probably the only place in town where seven people in pajamas with bright red, furry Santa hats could go unnoticed. An observation…ever notice how loud everyone is inside a Krispi Kreme joint? An effect of the raging sugar highs I suppose.
Up next was a beautiful and enchanting drive down Monument Avenue where we got to see how really wealthy people decorate their 2 million dollar anti-bellum mansions for Christmas. Hint: no inflatable Santas. I, for one, am glad that the current fad of these jolly inflatables came along after my kids were grown. I can only imagine the years of psycho-analysis I would have to pay for after my kids saw Santa alive and happy one night and then deflated and clearly murdered the next morning on the neighbors’ lawn.
“Daddy, who killed Santa!!??”
“No, no Patrick…he isn’t dead. H-he’s just…resting. Yeah, that’s it, he’s resting!”
“No Daddy. Somebody killed him! He’s just lying there dead on the ground!!”
“No son, he just looks dead. The closer we get to Christmas, Santa only comes out at night. He sleeps during the day!”
“Wait…Santa’s a vampire?”
Anyway, the lights were beautiful, from the elegance of Monument Avenue to the delightful kitsch of suburbia.
Oh, and for the record, a total of only sixteen doughnuts were consumed. Sixteen out of a possible twenty four, an admirable demonstration of discipline in the midst of a season of excess.Merry Christmas!