The Christmas Tie

There was an excitement in the crispy, cold air as students hurried through the halls of my junior high in their California-thin jackets the week before Christmas break. The two-week break was practically an eternity for us young teens. And there was also the excitement of the anticipated Christmas presents. Christmas always seemed to be the time when the best video games were released with the newest gaming consoles.  

I was in the 8th grade, and it was my first year in band. I was a drummer. And although many would say that it should be illegal to give junior high boys drumsticks, drumming was a great passion of mine, but since it was my first year in band, I wasn’t very skilled yet.  

The top band students got to leave school early the Friday before Christmas break to perform in a musical Christmas concert off campus, and boys had to wear ties and girls, dresses. Some of the nerdy band boys got all dressed up in tight dress pants tucked in too much, exposing their awkward transitioning junior high bodies. But not the drummers. They wore their dress shirts but tucked them into lose jeans, and their ties hung a little more casually and were bright with fun colors, some even rebelliously featuring cartoon characters. So somehow it became the cool thing to wear a tie on that last day of school before Christmas break.  

The night before the last day of school, I asked my mom around 8ish at night, if she would take me to get a tie to wear.  

Yes, I was one of those kids who waited until the last moment to tell my parents anything—my mother hated science fair projects.  

When I mentioned my tie request to my mother, I didn’t expect her to be all for it. I didn’t really need to wear a tie; I just kind of wanted to. My mom responded with enthusiasm, and we hurriedly hopped into our family’s minivan and drove to Mervyn’s because they were open later than most of the other clothing stores.  

She and I searched the large store as elevator Christmas songs placed in the background. It was the same Mervyn’s she used to take me to for back-to-school shopping when I was little, and I would hide inside of the giant clothes racks, the circular ones.  

My mother and I eventually found the perfect tie. It displayed the Looney Tunes characters with a Christmas theme. My mom bought me a dress shirt to match it too, and the next day at school, I was one of the cool kids … well, maybe not “cool,” but I stood out in a way that I liked.  

As a grown man today, happily married and with my own son, I understand my mother’s eager excitement during those short hours of late-night shopping, and to this day, that Looney Tunes Christmas tie still hangs in my closet with all my others.  

In many ways I have learned about God’s character through my mom. I didn’t need that tie, but she still blessed me with it. God does the same, and we need to remember all the blessings we have been given in our life—all the ties. 

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New Christmas Novel Published on Amazon

I want to share my deepest appreciation to everyone who reads and shares my posts from Tripp Blog and supports me in my writing. I have not been writing on Tripp Blog as much lately due to being a first-time father and a doctoral student, but I have been writing books. My newest book is called Christmas Land: And Other Seasonal Stories. It’s a story that encompasses all of our popular Christmas mythology into one novel. Viewers can have fun finding references to Christmas movies, cartoons, songs, and stories from popular culture. This story is like a literary Where’s Waldo book. I specifically did not include the Nativity in this Christmas story because I did not want people to associate the true story of Christ’s birth with elements of playful popular culture.

Also included in this book are short, Christmas stories that pull at the heartstrings. I challenge you to try to read these without tearful eyes or a wistful heart. Here’s the main book summary:

After Cindy loses her grandmother, the young graphic designer in her twenties faces the yuletide season alone in the small mountain town of Timberton Heights. This Christmas will be unlike any other as she uncovers the magical land of Christmas. Classic legends meet modern day reality in this new seasonal novel of Christmas adventure that will help anyone get into the Christmas spirit. Terry Tripp’s collection of short stories touches upon the wistfulness of the Christmas season as they span the spectrum of human thought and emotion, leaving readers in a pensive state of awe. Tripp pushes his readers to meditate upon life, death, love, and family in these touching holiday tales.

Terry Tripp

I hope you enjoy this Christmas book, and I pray that it encourages you to reflect gently during this cold season while being moved to appreciate this very unique Christmas.