When I was a kid and the holidays rolled around it was all about the oohs and the ahhhs in the Wilgoren house. It was the big Christmas light contest. My side of the Plymouth Fury was always oooh. My sister’s side was always ahhh. The rules were pretty simple, you went ooh or ahh if you had Christmas lights on YOUR side of the car. Yes we were Jewish. Ignore that part of it. So we had the Christmas lights game and I’d go ooh and my sister would go ahh. My mother would ooh and my father would ahh. I remember being so annoyed depending on which side of South Main Street we took out of Sharon, Massachusetts. Because whichever way we went would determine who was on the side of the fire station and town hall. Those two buildings and the surrounding trees were always decorated with lights when we were kids. Lots of lights. The more lights, the bigger the oohs and the bigger the ahhhs so that location was always a biggie. We’d overly oooh when we got there… partly due to excitement and partly to rub it in to the other kid that they weren’t on this side of the car. We’d let it rip like a wounded animal… like Mariah Carey trying to hit that high note.. oooohhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
I had forgotten the ooh and ahh game for a long time until today. We took the kids down Christmas Tree lane here in Southern California where every house and tree gets decorated. On the way, as they stared at the lights, I explained the rules of the oooh and ahhh game. Then we tried it out. The girls went for it… ooohhhh ahhhhhh oooohhhh ahhhhhh. Each time they saw some lights they chimed in. Then we turned the corner on Christmas Tree Lane… lights everywhere… and I flashed back to the old town hall and fire station. And we let it rip like Mariah. A simultaneous and thunderous holding of the breath while belching out an
oooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh oooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
It was awesome. Awesome. The kids loved it. They ran out of breath. We admired the lights and reignited an old family tradition at the very same time. We no longer have that Plymouth fury. Mom and dad are no longer around. My sister and I have long grown up. But on a cold December night, thousands of miles away from Sharon, Massachusetts, a family tradition was reborn. That certainly deserves an oooohhhh oh and an ahhhhhh.
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