When I was still in college, I worked one year for my Uncle-who owned a small grocery store in Middletown, NY.
Uncle Ray was a very restrained individual : probably as a result of being brought up in an ultra-strict "Pennsylvania Protestant" environment- (one of those little churches that doesn't "hold with" singing, dancing,or other frivolity.They do hold with tithing: lots and lots of it.)
He seldom smiled or laughed, and almost never raised his voice - even when his children were acting up. (He'd say :" That will be enough of that " in a conversational tone - and that tone would just about blister paint...)
He wasn't much for being photographed - but a look at Grant Woods' classic "American Gothic" will give you some idea of what he looked like.
Make the hair a bit darker,dress him in conservative business clothes,and you wouldn't be too far off.
Uncle Ray had strong opinions about Christmas. " Too much display !" "A waste of money !"
If you really wanted to get him going, just mention Christmas cards !
"They're nothing but a racket ! All they do is make the card companies rich !" , he'd say; and he'd suit action to words by tossing any cards that came to the store right into the trash .
I was a bit shocked -(our family was big on Christmas cards) but, for a change, decided to keep my mouth shut.
I was spending Christmas Eve with my Uncle and Aunt, and couldn't help feeling a bit uneasy . What kind of Christmas was I getting myself into ?
On Christmas Eve, Uncle Ray kept us all busy: filling box after box with grocery orders, which were picked up by the delivery service he used.
At the end of the day,he had me lug boxes of groceries out to his station wagon ; and I'll tell you: by the time I finished loading,that wagon was sitting low on its springs !
"Uncle Sourpuss" then drove around to the homes of desperately needy families,and had me deliver carefully packed groceries to them.
" Just put it by the door,knock,and run",he instructed; and I did so gladly: feeling like a conspirator in something good; and happy to have made the acquaintance of the real "Uncle Sourpuss".