It’s almost here…the day we looked forward to as children and sometimes dread as adults. My heart and prayers go out to all those which may have suffered a loss of a loved one, job, health or any number of life-changing events. I hope the memories of Christmas past will still bring joy.
Christmas was a big event in our home. All my aunts would send presents and some are still remembered today. My Aunt Helen and Uncle Herschel always sent the very best. A book called Ambrose about a small lost dog which traveled around the world and returned home to his owner in a New York penthouse. A stuffed skunk which I named Skunky…not that original, to be sure. Nevertheless, I loved that skunk. A beautiful china princess musical figurine.
Aunt Louise sent me an umbrella and a large stuffed doll, Little Boy Blue, I called him Billy. Aunt June and Uncle Harry always sent clothing. And Grandma a card with $1.00. People sent cash through the mail back then. You could buy quite a bit with a dollar.
What Christmas would be complete without the traditional midnight Mass? It was always so enchanting to go into the cathedral, decorated with lights, candles and evergreens. The church was always packed with friends of my parents, classmates and neighbors. One year, I stepped out of the car and into a puddle. My tights were drenched and I was mortified. There was absolutely no way I was going into church with wet tights and shoes. Of course, my mother had a much different view of the situation…mothers always do.
After mass, close family friends would gather at our very small home, and despite all the excitement, our little eyes could barely stay open. The next morning, the tree had presents under it. Magical.
I wasn’t one to believe in Santa Claus because my sister told me there was no such person and for some reason I listened to her. However, one Christmas the only gift I wanted was a blue Sears bike with chrome fenders, light and carrier just like my classmate Jill had. So, I decided to cover all bases and that year Santa was real. Yea, the bike was waiting for me that Christmas morn.
Living in the Great Lakes state meant there would be no bike riding until spring. No matter. I decorated the bike with blue and white streamers and it stayed in the bedroom until the first available day to ride. It was decked out with cards in the spokes, too. Now, were talking.
During my pre-teen years, I created my very own traditions. One of which was to hunt through the house looking for my presents. Mom always hid them. I was dying for a Monopoly game and shoved under my parents bed was MY present. I was elated. Christmas day we unwrapped our presents and something was missing. MY Monopoly game. There must be a mistake.
I asked Mom where MY Monopoly game which was under the bed was at. She almost look delighted when she said “The game was for your cousin Bobby”. I am sure I pouted and cried because by that age I didn’t believe in Santa again. Next year I would…
Sadly, most everyone is gone but I still recall the memories and feel nostalgic and sometimes blue, sometimes melancholy. New memories are made everyday and God somehow places people in your life to help ease the pain of loneliness. I love every one of them and each one holds a special place in my heart.
So, to all my friends and family:
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