Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Jimmy and the cactus, a sort of Christmas tale

It’s November 1951 and Jimmy and his mom are headed to Mexico for the winter, as is tradition since his mom started dating that new guy...

Jimmy didn’t want to go. He wanted to stay with his Dad, back home in NYC, where he'd be with his friends and play ice hockey, throw snowballs at girls and smoke stolen cigarettes. He can’t believe he’s standing in front of this stupid cactus, wearing this stupid sweater*, and headed to stupid Mexico. 

Jimmy grows up to be a scrooge and hate Christmas (he also hates the desert and never wears sweaters), that is until he falls in love with a girl who loves Christmas. Jimmy and Joy marry on Christmas Eve, they honeymoon in Connecticut and settle down in New York.

When, in 1970, Jimmy and Joy welcome their first child, they name her Karen, after the young heroine in the Rankin-Bass animated Christmas special Frosty the Snowman, which was narrated by Jimmy’s namesake uncle, Jimmy Durante. They go on to open a successful chain of refrigerated warehouses in New York state. Karen (their only child) eventually moves to New Mexico and opens a small nursery specializing in cactus. When her parents come to visit one Christmas her dad realizes his horrible mistake all those many years ago and falls in love with the desert. The End.


*the Frosty Snowman sweater Jimmy is wearing in the photo was a gift from his grandparents, Rosa and Bartolomeo Durante. It commemorates their son Jimmy’s recording of Frosty the Snowman, released in 1950. 

Yes this is another invented interpretation of one of the many black and white photos my husband has given me over the years, I hope you enjoyed my creative narrative, which—other than the fact Jimmy Durante did the narration and recording of Frosty the Snowman—is completely made up.

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All material © 2009-2023 by Loree L Bohl. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. That's a very good Christmas story.

  2. LOL, I love the happy ending. For a second, I was expecting your story to end like this: "When her parents come to visit one Christmas her dad trips and falls into a patch of chollas. His hatred of cacti is confirmed. The End."

  3. Hilarious! You have great imagination.

  4. I'm glad Jimmy saw the light (and appreciated the warmth of the desert) in the end, Loree! Best wishes for a Merry Christmas!

    1. And the same to you Kris! May Santa bring you some rain.

  5. How does the saying go: "you realize your parents were right all along once you have your own children". Loved Jimmy Durante!

    1. Oh... yes, that's good! I admit to pulling out my old Jimmy Durante CD after writing this.


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