“That’s my favorite Christmas song!” I said as I looked up at my mother.
She smiled back at me, busily wrapping gifts and checking the stove.
I looked outside, and noticed the dark gray sky, hoping, that soon snow would be coming down onto the mountains around our house. Going to my grandmothers farm for Christmas would not be a problem, because it was only up the hill from my house.
“Mom,” I asked with hope in my blue eyes, “Could I PLEASE open just one of my presents tonight. My friend Sarah’s family does that. It makes Christmas last another day. . Besides, with my birthday right after Christmas, it is the only really special time I have.”
Mom sighed as she removed a pumpkin pie from the oven. “ I like for you to wake up on Christmas morning-very early- (she smiled and brushed her hand through my curly hair) and see you sneaking through the house to find the presents under the tree. “You know that I hear you!”
“But Mom,” I begged, you told me that all your family had was stocking hanging on the end of your parent’s bed, with some fruit and maybe one toy. Things don’t have to always be the same!”
“Oh, alright.” My mother said, as she rushed about. “But just ONE!” she emphasized.
I jumped up, shouting “Oh, thank you, mom, thank you!”
I remember that day-49 years ago. I remember the dress she wore, the tattered apron over it,The tired look on her face, the flour spilled on the table.
Tears fill my eyes as I wonder where time has gone. My own children are grown and have children nearly that old. I lost a child 7 ½ years ago, and I often refer to this time of year as the “Helladays” because they make me miss my young, lively healthy family so much.
I struggle to cook a few snacks for the teen I still have living at home. Where does time go? Why do we loose those people and times we treasure so much? I wiped a tear and turned on the radio as I cooked.
That same song came resounding through the speakers. I was surprised, filled with a mixture of sweet memories and loss.
“It’s the most wonderful time of the years!” the orchestra and singers sang in a rhythm that could have come from that long ago day.
I sneaked into my sons room and handed him a small wrapped gift.
“Whats this, Mom?” he smiled.
“Just a little memory,” I said. Merry Christmas!
He got up from his video game and gave me a hug. “You are the best mom in the world,” he said.
And for a moment, I saw my mom saying the same thing to her. I held back the tears, so he wouldn’t see me cry and walked slowly back to the kitchen.
Perhaps the Christmas spirit was still alive after all.