Thursday, December 10, 2009

Of All Things Christmas

My dear blogging friend, Margaret,
posed a question on her Wednesday blog
about favorite Christmas memories.
(Check out her blog at:

Thanks, Margaret!
I've decided that's what I'll
write about today.

Grab a cup of coffee.
A comfy seat.
And get ready to go back in time with me
(like I've done so much lately).

If you're bored out of your gourd,
chances are you've heard
these tales before-
or the morning news
is a lot more interesting.


One of my favorite memories
is the hubbub of the last day of school
before Christmas vacation.

There was always a pulse in the air-
a mystical throb of excitement-
My heart beat loudly
and my eyes remained wide-
with the anticipation of seeing Santa.

After the school Christmas program,
Santa would always arrive-
handing out little boxes of candy
and oranges.

The cardboard box had a
little string handle
and was full of hard candy,
a few chocolates,
and heaven.

Unlike kids nowadays,
candy was a rare treat-
so we savored-
(and guarded)-
our box we got from Santa.

And then it was home
to stare at the tree for hours-
hoping that there would be
at least one gift for me
on Christmas day.

I love the memory of
my sister Linda and I
singing carols.
We would sit in the darkness
of our bedroom
and pull up the blinds.
Outside, it was a wonderland of snow
and sparkles and glittery icicles.

Then, we would tuck ourselves
up against the window sill
and begin singing.
Oh, Come All Ye Faithful,
Here Comes Santa Claus,
Jingle Bells,
Silver Bells,
and a huge array of memorized tunes
that have yet to leave our hearts.

That went on
for what seemed like hours-
pressing our noses against the cold glass...
arguing about what to sing next...
chasing our stupid brothers from our room...
secretly digging into our little candy boxes
for a quick treat....

I feel Linda beside me now
as though it were yesterday.
My partner in all things Christmas...

that little blond duo who thought the whole world
was good and gracious.

(We still sing- she and I.
But it's usually liquor induced!)

Then, as years went on,
I got married and
I began spending Christmas
with my husband.

We never had a lot of money back then.
So I didn't expect much.
We probably used our last bit of cash
for a tree.

But one evening around Christmas,
as I just finished my bath,
I walked into the room and
saw presents beneath the tree.

Ten presents!
And they were all mine!

I cried.
I didn't even know what they were,
and I cried like a baby.
I had never gotten more than
a couple of gifts when I lived at home.
This was the jackpot-
the lottery-
the best Christmas I ever had!

And I think my husband
was just as excited to give them
as I was to get them!

Although the two pair of socks
and three pair of underwear he bought
were each wrapped
I was thrilled beyond measure.

I also got a brown striped cowl-neck sweater,
a red knit sweater,
a pair of fuzzy pink slippers,
a red robe,
and a sketch book.

I don't remember
what I got for any Christmas after that.

But that special night has
embedded itself in precious memories.

When the kids came along,
Christmas became special again,
There was the heartbeat of magic
surrounding our home again.

Every Christmas morning
we would go to their bedrooms and say,
"Guess who's beeeen here?"

They shot up from their slumber
and ran to the tree in awe,
always surprised and thankful
that they believed in Santa.

Then as teens-
they stayed in bed later,
didn't appreciate the wake up call,
and made large piles
of gift returns and exchanges.

That's just life, I guess...

There are too many memories to mention.
But every year is my favorite Christmas.

Because I thank God that I am alive
and well
and have family and friends.

And sometimes-
a little box of candy...