Here it is only a week before the big day. Stores are abustle with shoppers frantically searching for that special gift for that special someone. I sip my coffee letting my thoughts drift back to my childhood.
As a child, Christmas was the exciting prospect of Santa and gifts. Christmas eve was spent searching for that one pair of knee socks that didn’t have a hole in the heel, sometimes leaving us with frantic repairs before hanging. We would leave milk & cookies for Santa of course and spend a restless night staring at the ceiling listening for hooves on the rooftop wishing Mom & Dad would go to bed.
I have a fond memory of sneaking downstairs at dawn on the 25th of December with whispers, “Did he come?” and “You should see how many presents are under the tree!” The coffee table would be laden with bowls of nuts, grapes and tangerines, all special treats. In the early years 6 of us siblings would bombard Mom & Dad on their bed, with overfilled stockings in our arms. We were allowed to empty these early but the gifts under the tree were not to be touched until breakfast and the table clearing had been completed. A quilt or blanket would be neatly spread in front of the decorated tree, and we would patiently wait for Dad to sit at the head and hand out the gifts one by one.Our squeals of delight and anticipation would fill the room.
There was always a new board game for the family to share during the school vacation, new hats and mitts, jigsaw puzzles, and always that one special something that we had asked Santa to bring. My most precious gift was a Jon Nagy Art Set which I received at age 11 or 12 and treasured for years afterwards. The aroma of roasting turkey filled the house and friends or relatives would drop by to play cards with Mom & Dad.
These were special times and traditions which I carried on with my children. I hope they hold their memories as close to their hearts as I do mine.