Elvis gave me underwear
Growing up, I’m sure my middle class family from Kansas looked pretty darned white bread to the outside world.
My parents were both teachers. We had 2.5 children (Me, my sister, and eeuuww my little brother. He’s the .5)
My mother also was the organist at church. We went to potluck suppers. We played Barbies and kick ball with the kids on the block. We shot bottle rockets at each other. We took those hideous Olan Mills family portraits every year just like everybody else.
But come the holiday season, we were hiding a not-so-traditional holiday tradition: famous people gave us underwear for Christmas.
My mother obviously missed her calling as a stand-up comedian, Hallmark Shoebox Greeting Card writer, or perhaps a Saturday Night Live Cast Member. I think this was her way of making a not-so-special present special.
Every year, my brother, sister, and I couldn’t wait to find out what celebrities had taken the time to send us new dainties. When I was very small, Bert and Ernie left packages for me under the tree, in addition to whomever was in the white house at the time.
I have enjoyed socks given to me by five different presidents I’ll have you know. Nixon's were my favorite.
And Speed Buggy and Scooby Doo often took the time to wrap Underoos for my brother.
As we got older, I screamed that delightful 12-yr-old-girl-scream when Shaun Cassidy wowed me with some frilly pink numbers.
And as an adult child, when Victoria’s Secret finally hit the retail scene, lo and behold, it was Victoria herself that left me a couple of packages that I was embarrassed to open in front of my .5 brother.
Now, my children continue to enjoy my mother’s sense of humor, even though she is no longer with us. I wrap and tag their socks and underwear thematically, year to year – Optimus Prime, Will Smith, Josh Hamilton, and even President Obama have made red carpet appearances under our tree.
I hope that every time my boys wear one of their celebrity undergarments they feel special, and loved. And, that they cherish their whack job mom as much as I cherished mine.
For more tips and tricks disguised as parenting humor, feel free to poke around in here.