I miss my Dad’s grinch ways at Christmas. I miss his total lack of caring about what he considered a Santa holiday made for retailers. For him the true meaning was missing. I miss the silver foil Christmas tree with its circular rotating fan of circled lights. We would put it up together every single artificial branch into its corresponding color coded place. He was like that about every holiday. It seemed that it was the retailers against him, and the war was on. They might get some of his money, but he wasn’t going to be happy about it. I never knew a sappy feely Christmas, and I’m glad. The fun was putting up the tree, cutting the top out of the tree in the Arkansas woods with friends laughing over nothing, and visiting his Mom and Dad and talking and talking and talking. My Dad could talk Satan out of sin. He should have been on the radio. He had an answer for everything, and could spin a story like nobody’s business. And I mean nobody! One of the most wonderful things about him was his absolute unselfish interest in other people. But he didn’t want to be taken advantage of and would keep a close to empty wallet in his pocket, and his roll of money in his sock. He could talk about the inventors, scientists, historical political figures and even down to the microbes and what they were for. He didn’t want to show off, but he was just excited about knowledge. Once, in the kitchen, way back when, he said, “Terri I have an idea about tennis shoes. You could make them so that roller skate wheels popped out of the sole.” He said this as he held a shoe in his hand studying the prospects. I just said a polite, “Yeah!” I didn’t want to hurt his feelings and all. Boy was I wrong!! Around that time he thought of the roll up plastic electric piano. He thought of a lot of other things too! I guess the one thing that was really special about my Dad was that his mind was always working on learning something, being truly interested in others, and really working long hours for his family. He didn’t dwell on sadness. He didn’t brood over what was missing, gone, broken, and he would sometimes say, “I have to laugh to keep from crying.” So he did laugh! But I miss his grinch ways because he was defiant about what everyone else was doing on a holiday. Even birthdays were low-key. When he got sick he bought me a birthday card that he picked out himself. It was one of the greatest gifts! He believed that encouraging other people was so important. And he still encourages me! I miss Christmas with the Grinch! …….Terri O.A.