Dec 24, 2009

Ah, it's Christmas Eve

And all is well,
Or as well as can be I guess
Right now I feel
I need to get moving and clean up this  awful mess!

I keep trying to think of what to write about Christmas.  The Christmases I remember as a child were filled with such magic.  We were so poor, but somehow my mother managed to get us something for Christmas.  She usually ordered from the Speigel calalog on credit, and sometimes her order was approved, and sometimes it wasn't.  I remember waiting in the cold at the end of our old dirt driveway for the mailman, hoping against hope, that he brought the boxes that contained our Christmas wishes. 

I remember my father coming in, after being gone for a few weeks, and, having been paid, he always brought home oranges, apples, walnuts, and hard Christmas candy.  It was marvelous, the anticipation, the waiting to hear his car pull up in the yard.

Our trees were always fresh cut, found somewhere around the hill where we lived.   We decorated them with ornaments that were old, but extremely precious to us.  Daddy always went and got the tree, and when my brother's were young, they most likely went with him.  It was man's work to get the tree. 

We usually managed to have something good to eat on Christmas Day.  And it usually was a turkey.  Of course Daddy didn't care that much for turkey, but he would eat the dark meat.  Some times we had company, and that was special because it was so rare.

I remember one Christmas when my sister-in-law, Nancy, all of 17, stayed with us on Christmas.  Her mother, Margaret, came to bring some gifts for everyone, and I thought she was the most beautiful woman in the world.  She smelled so wonderful, and she wore makeup, something I longed to do.  She brought me perfume called April Showers, and I think it was my favorite gift that year.  It made me feel like a little girl, which of course that is what I was, but my hair was always chopped off, and I was an unabashed tomboy.  That perfume reminded me that maybe one day I could look as beautiful as Nancy's mother.

My sister Geraldine, who had moved out of the house and had a good job at Carbide, always brought everyone something nice.  She was glamorous, too, but a very forceful figure to me.  Growing up, we fought back and forth, and before she died, when we talked to each other by phone, we always ended the calls with "I love you".   I am so very grateful for that.

My mother is gone, and my so is my father.  Margaret died in her late 30's or early 40's of stomach cancer.  Geraldine passed away almost a year after my son Travis did.  I never see my sisters and brothers anymore.  The old house, where we celebrated so many Christmases, has been torn down.  I feel sometimes my home is gone.   But then I have to remind myself that my home is where I am.

I miss those Christmases so much.  I long to wake up on Christmas morning with that wonderful, exciting sense of anticipation, and with the special glow I felt just because it was Christmas.


SJ said...

Hope your christmas day was better than you seem to indicate!

Festivals seem to lose their magic after childhood I wish that weren't the case.

just me said...

When my kids were smaller, I was just as bad as they were about getting excited for Christmas. Those memories are just so very, very precious to me.