I grew up in the suburbs of Allentown, PA. It’s in Eastern Pennsylvania, an hour north of Philly, and we are not Amish, contrary to popular belief. Billy Joel’s song “Allentown” was actually about the steel mills that closed down in Bethlehem,
and Bethlehem is where the baby Jesus was born.
I told my mom I didn’t really want to do the Christmas Lights Tour again this year.
Then Smurry made me feel bad on Twitter, so I told my mom I’d do the damn thang and go on the tour with the family.
It was snowing, and the streets were beautiful and quiet. It made me feel like a little kid again, looking out the passenger seat window of my own car as my dad sped ahead in front of us, trying to lose us.
My mom freaked out every time we lost sight of their tail lights; every time, my aunt would tell her to just follow the tracks of his tires on the snowy streets. We snaked slowly through the neighborhoods. And then, every once in a while, unbelievably, my mom, my Aunt Barbara and I would spot a glow like the Northern lights (“a heavenly glow!” -my mom. “Balto!” -me (:56)),
but it was really the work of totally insane people.
My dad flipped out at one point because he claimed my mom wouldn’t let him bring a map, until my brother coaxed him back inside the car. “I guess Rob has this GPS thing on his phone,” he said before slamming the door and speeding off into the wind-blown cottonballs falling from the sky.
I rolled down the windows and turned on The Velvet Underground, because someone farted in the car. “I’m Sticking with You” was on.
“I don’t like this music,” my mom said,
and turned one of six all-Christmas music stations back on.
“I’ll be home for Christmas. You can count on me … because I’d have a blue Christmas without you.”
-what I wrote to my Mom in her birthday card this year on Dec. 17.
We got my parents a six-month subscription for Netflix and a thing to play it on their TV in hopes that they’d stop watching American Idol. We deleted their AOL email account and set up a Gmail account for them.
It’s a Christmas miracle.
“We’re good, let’s go home,” I said to him immediately.
“What did they say?” my mom asks me.
“We’re going home.”
Right now we’re watching the Disney Christmas parade, so I gotta go. Slater from Saved by the Bell is hosting for whatever reason. I’m drinking coffee out of a Mickey mug that’s sitting on a coffe-mug heater on our end table.
I kind of want one of those.
I think that light tour gave you some sort of an idea of what it’s like here in Allentown, PA. Take it as you will, I’m gonna get back to deciding whether or not I should be responsible with my Christmas money.
Merry Christmas and Happy holidays to all!