I can't hardly think of Christmas and remember how it turned dad into a big kid. He loved Christmas!
Living in Garden Valley, we always had several feet of snow. There was a pasture just a few hundred feet up the road from our house, and dad and mom would take us kids up there and we would spend hours sledding down the hill. If there was enough snow, we would sometimes get on our sleds and ride the 4 miles down Alder Creek road to town. When we got home, mom always had hot chocolate waiting for us.
One year, he gave Linda a guitar for Christmas and had to play with it of course...
I never knew until I was an adult, how little money a Game Warden makes. At Christmas, there wouldn't be an empty space under the tree. There were dozens and dozens of presents. It seemed like it took an hour to open them all, and dad spent the morning taking pictures of us with our new toys.
One thing I look back on now, and I find myself really impressed with, is the fact that almost every year, dad was brave enough to actually buy mom clothes for Christmas. He actually had very good taste for a male and most of the time, mom loved what he picked out.
For many years, Christmas was really hard after dad died. His laughter, his excitement, and the look in his eyes as he spent the day with his family (unless he decided in the afternoon that there might be someone out poaching and he needed to go to work for an hour or two).
I wonder every year what he would be like at Christmas now. I think he'd be exactly the same, only enjoying his grandkids and great grandkids as well. Merry Christmas dad!