When at a Loss for Words, Just Say “Wella, Wella, Wella”


My family likes to play games at holiday get-togethers. Card games, word games, board games, practical jokes. It’s all good.

One year at Christmas we purchased the party board game called Cranium. Mom and I were in a showdown with my aunt and my cousin, and I had about thirty seconds to get Mom to guess my impression of Elvis Presley.

All season long, the radio had been playing Blue Christmas which starts out with Elvis making two-syllable words out of one-syllable words in a way only Elvis could. So this was the first song that popped into my head.

When the timer started, I stood, positioned my hands for air guitar, swiveled my hips and opened my mouth to sing.

There was just one problem.

In the excitement of the moment, I had forgotten the words to one of the most overplayed Christmas songs ever. Yet the Elvis swagger had already been indelibly imprinted on my psyche. So in my deepest voice, and with exaggerated vibrato, I crooned …

Ah, wel-la, wel-la, wel-la…

Within seconds my mom jumped up, screamed “Elvis Presley!” and we won the game.

After that day, “wella, wella, wella” sort of became my new M.O. (I actually have quite a few.) And to this day – you guessed it – whenever anyone in my family has a lapse in memory or just can’t think of anything to say, they simply utter those three words and everyone understands.

This year Santa came by again for an early visit as he has been known to do over the years. And every time he does, my husband mysteriously disappears.

When it was my turn to sit on Santa’s knee, I whispered in his ear and told him what I wanted for Christmas. Then I leaned in and planted a big one right on his kisser while proceeding stealthily to lift his wallet.

For a moment, he seemed to be at a loss for words. But then he regained his composure, took a deep breath and with great gusto shouted…


And then I took him out to dinner…

With HIS money… Shhhh…

Love that twinkle in those big blue eyes…

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all! Whatever way you celebrate, here’s wishing you and yours a wonderful season filled with love and laughter. 🙂

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