We sit, in the half gloom, watching the lights of the newly raised Christmas tree. In our hands are mugs of eggnog, spiced with a few friendly drops of cerebral lubricant. This is a time for reminiscing and story-telling. Inevitably, Dad is reminded of his own father, the intrepid Irishman who, though born in St. Louis, MO in a wagon, on the coldest December 23 in the city's history, was carried back to Ireland by his widowed father. He grew to about 16 years old, there, before returning to the land of his birth to make his way. The stories of Dan's doings and adventures are many and varied and I look forward to each, as a gift.
This particular evening, Dad commented that his father had never had a birthday party. The subject quickly strayed, but I filed that information, and the next day, shopped for a lovely corned beef dinner. On December 23, the table was set with candles, fine china and a birthday cake. We accompanied our dinner with some good Irish beer and toasted Dan's birth with Fine Irish whiskey.
Dad enjoyed the party as much as his father would have, and thus a tradition was born.
Happy 132nd birthday, Dan.