Not all of our most memorable Christmases are successes and this year I’d like to tell you about one of them.
My grandmother had moved up to Santa Barbara from the San Fernando Valley and we were all invited up to spend Christmas with her. I was about eleven years old and thrilled to be spending Christmas in Santa Barbara.
Grandma lived in a tiny, Westside cottage, thriftily furnished with second hand furniture and used appliances.
The station wagon loaded with gifts and the family dog, we arrived in time for dinner. Grandma’s house was awash with the delicious smell of turkey cooking and we eagerly seated ourselves at the dining room table, awaiting the feast.
My heart fell when I heard my mother say, “Mom, this turkey’s RAW!” And so it was, only the wings and the very top of the breast were cooked! The oven had given out and Grandma was aghast.
We had to make do with mashed potatoes and vegetables, no gravy, no stuffing and worst of all, no leftover turkey for sandwiches!
We kids were terribly disappointed, but old enough to make light of the situation so Grandma wouldn’t feel any worse than she already did. Pretty soon, we were all laughing and joking about Grandma’s worthless oven.
A month or so later, we all visited Grandma again and she proudly showed off her latest acquisition – another second hand stove!