Just this week, a friend told me of the start of a new tradition within her family wherein each member shared their best Christmas memory. Even in recounting the experience, tears filled her eyes as she spoke of her own, and those shared by others. There were moments of sorrow and others of pure joy, but eventually, they all became the best memory ever.
How is it that we’ve forgotten that? To know that every sorrow wears a coat of joy, and every bliss is but a warning of grief – a missing of the sweetest part? And yet, when measured into the same overflowing cup, they become the best – again and again.
She asked to my best memory ever and I think (partially) it was dislodged from my heart by her telling, but it is one of joy and family……….the best ever still.
Tho we didn’t know it at the time, we weren’t rich. My family of six lived in a two bedroom trailer until I was twelve. Then we moved into a castle of three bedrooms….. 🙂 The memory recalled is from the ‘castle’. Every Saturday was the same. One by one, my brother and sisters would wake for some reason and make our way to my parent’s room, my parent’s bed. Until we were all there, telling our dreams, torturing and tickling, and eventually deciding on breakfast.
But Christmas was another such time. My brother (who by virtue of the fact that he was the only son, had his own bedroom) would sleep in the girl’s room. We’d all pile into one big bed (or it seemed big at the time – tho I suspect it was no more than a full-size). I’m not sure we slept at all, but during the night, with every little squeak or bending of board, we’d speculate that Santa had come around. My brother was the designated outlook for us, and he would sneak down the hall to spy on the living room………and then run back to the safety of us to report. There was no understanding that it had to be five o’clock before we could get up. The only restriction was that we couldn’t get up before Santa had arrived.
Years later, I have heard stories of how long it took to get all the presents under the tree*. Between wrapping, assembling, and playing with all the toys – it was their joy we were most anticipating I think. Even now, at Christmas, I imagine the sound of little boy feet running down the hall…….. ‘he’s here, he’s here’………..
Let us keep Christmas forever in our tiny hearts, remembering things little as big. Let us keep love through the sharing of stories – creating anew every best memory.
* My Chatty Cathy doll was almost worn out before Christmas, and a promise to get a kitten for my sister resulted in an unexpected run to the country – and a cat that nearly brought my dad to stitches. In the telling, even more sweet beautiful tears. My dad comments, ‘we didn’t know just how good we had it’…. Then he winks, ‘yeah, we knew’……..
wake me home
some other year –
beyond this life surrendered
fall to me the places
I have known –
save for me
a little room
with not much more
for leaving –
arms to fill
wake me now
. . .