The year was 1973, and early in December, my brother and I had just gotten home from an after-school Christmas Concert rehearsal. Spectral colors twinkled from our Christmas tree onto the living room window, and a blanket of snow glistened under the street light beyond. Our Dad was already there . . . unheard of in those days for a jewellery store owner to get home in time for supper during the holiday season. What was going on - were we in trouble !!?? We'd been behaving for weeks . . . ever since our fists flew furiously in that brawl over Halloween candy. Mum nodded towards the couch in an unspoken command for us to sit. We just perched - no sense getting comfortable if we were going to be sent "straight to your rooms." A few bursts of dog hacking punctuated the hum of our Seth Thomas starburst wall clock as we braced motionless, eyes downcast, studying the purple crayon stain our circa 1968 orange felt carpet. Finally my Father proclaimed: our sparkling tree would be packed away on the 24th, and this year Christmas morning would have no presents!!! What! Why? (Did Mum discover my brother had been eating unauthorized scoops of the Blue Boy Peppermint Stick ice cream rations? Or did they know I had repeatedly plundered the freezer and - with surgical precision - trimmed the sugary edges of her baked goodies?) Cancelling Christmas would be a huge overreaction!!! (After all, two-inch dainties are just as tasty as three-inch squares.) Our merry-and-bright young faces went arctic white. We waited in stunned silence. My sister, who'd been playing pretend spaghetti mealtime with our dog, was too young to know she shouldn't feed tinsel to Mitzi. But she was old enough to 'read the room.' Her three-year old intuition sensed tension, and she started bawling, which triggered the dog barking. I was hyperventilating; and I'm quite sure my brother wet his pants. Then Dad laughed. And after having served us countless Sunday suppers on tippy TV trays so we wouldn't miss an episode of Wonderful World of Disney, Mum excitedly blurted out the words we'd only dreamed of. She said "We're going to Disneyworld!!"