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visions of sugarplums

All available Kudzu Kweens gathered last night for the first annual dirty Santa, kudzu style. As usual, a good time was had by all even when the gift stealin' got down and dirty. For the life of me I can't figure out why I'm always the one with eyes wide shut and mouth wide open in these pictures. Guess I need to practice my "on camera" pose a bit.

My cousin called tonight for a little memory jog on the name of the place that our grandmother always took us at Christmas when we were kids. Only one year apart we were, and still are, more like sisters than cousins. Gaga found herself a widow at the young age of 43 so she had plenty of time and money to spend making memories with her two eldest grandchildren on road trips to the Enchanted Forest in Memphis. It was a magical place buried deep in the basement of the old Goldsmith's department store. We would load up in her white station wagon early in the morning and drive the eighty miles south to fight the big city traffic to get down close to the mighty Mississippi River where all the finest stores were located, surrounded by cotton warehouses and government buildings.

Goldsmith's had an underground parking garage which was way cool for us small town girls, and we would make our way through the maze of concrete and steel toward the place where the magic of Christmas came alive through animated snowmen, elves and of course Santa himself. There was more bling in that place than you could shake a candy cane at, with holiday music blaring all around as we became enchanted as only children can with the gaudy trappings of a holy season. There were escalators and a huge candy department featuring confections of every possible shape and size made of pure chocolate and marzipan.

I remember in the first or second grade when some wiseass know-it-all girl told me flat out that Santa wasn't real. Idealist that I am, that didn't set well and I've never truly been able to wrap my brain around that denial of the magic that is a jolly old fat man in a red suit who rewards the good little girls and boys. It sure keeps me in line during the month of December, and my daughter as well.

Call me a dreamer, but I still believe.

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