A Childhood Christmas Memory

Three ears were listening to the voices and metallic clinking sounds coming from the basement. Picture three pajama-clad siblings, Cindie, Brad, and Vivian, each with one ear to the 12-inch opening to the clothes chute in the hallway outside of our bedrooms. Judging from Dad’s frustrated comments about missing parts and lousy instructions, we knew SOMEONE was getting a bike for Christmas (and assembly was not going particularly well).

We three Boyles kids, Christmas of 1963

Our parents didn’t know that we were secretively listening to the bike assembly endeavor. After all, it was Christmas Eve and we were supposed to be ‘nestled in bed while visions of sugar-plums danced in our heads’! Hearing mom’s footsteps coming up the basement stairs, we each scrambled to our respective beds feigning sleep. When the three of us finally succumbed to sleep, I am sure the sugar-plums in our dreams looked more like a bike parked next to the tree with OUR name on the gift tag.

Imagine our great delight when Christmas morning dawned and three bikes sat perched on kickstands around the tree! If we didn’t live in snowy Wisconsin, we three kids would have been riding up and down Milwaukee’s Stark Street in our pajamas ringing the bell or honking the horn Dad had attached during his after midnight assembly project. For today, our Dad would drag those bikes back down to the basement and our bike-riding adventures would begin.

1963, Cindie Vivian and Brad with our beautiful mom