December 7, 2009

My most memorable Christmas

There are several that are memorable. Most Memorable shifts depending what taps the shoulder of my subconcious. By default, I attempt to explain most memorable, with the disclaimer that they are young memories and therefore subject to inaccuracies. Nonetheless, they are as I recall. (yes, the disclaimer is a way to placate any family member who may refute what I said and remind me of a more memorable Christmas).

When I was 5 years old, we had just moved into our farmhouse. My twin brothers were babies, we had barely gotten settled in our home. I remember snippets. We spent the better part of the past few months in my uncle's garage, driving to and from the farm house while our family brought a circa 1860 home up to 1971 code.

What I remember is going to midnight mass. I don't remember why my folks told us we wouldn't have a tree, but as an adult I assume it was the insanity of trying to get settled in a barely renovated, half finished farm house. We went to mass. That year in Kindergarten, I'd learned the words to all the carols and as the organist played the pre-service music, I was proud to sing. Loudly. I remember singing Silent Night at the top of my lungs. So much for Silent. At least the Night part was accurate.

We came back from Mass and in our foyer was a tree, filled with decorations and a big note from Santa's elves. "Santa will be back later, but we put up the tree so that he'd know where to leave the gifts". I stood in the room awed. Every kid knows, the only significance of going to Christmas Eve church is that you're one step closer to morning after Santa has arrived. Who'd think he'd send his emmissaries before him?

I never forgot that magic. Years later, the magic multiplied. At a family gathering, my aunt made a remark. "I remember that year that (my then boyfriend, now husband) went over and put up a tree for you while you were at Mass." Until I was an adult, I never knew how the tree appeared. I teased my aunt repeatedly that she shattered some magic.  That couldn't be further from the truth. She made magic.

To consider that on Christmas Eve, two college kids, who likely had many other things to do, thought the best thing to do was go put up a tree for her 5 and 3 year old niece and nephews...

Yes, there is Magic.

Thank you, many years later. Thank you to my Aunt D and Uncle L. You made magic. It continues to live.


  1. What a great story Kim! I love it! Years ago, I did a story for Mahoning Valley Parent magazine where I interviewed families from different cultural backgrounds, and they shared their family memories of the holidays. It was so touching that these families shared such joyous memories with me. I love hearing these types of stories of "times gone by." Speaking of, I remember going to downtown Higbee's in Cleveland because my dad was the toy buyer there. Oh, I was so proud to see him on TV every Christmas season showing off the Star Wars light sabre (when that was a new toy), and then he'd let me go to work with him once in a while and I played with this (70's) dollhouse the whole time. I loved it. How I loved Christmas even more when Santa brought it for ME! I couldn't figure out how Santa got to Higbee's. :)

  2. Wonderful story, Kim! Those were 2 very cool teenagers!

  3. That is the sweetest story ever. Thank you so much for sharing. My heart just grew three sizes bigger!

  4. I am truly blessed. This year will be a tough one. We lost our matriarch (my grandmother, her mother) last year on Christmas Eve. I want to bathe in the memories of why our family is so wonderful, and that is a huge part of it. I'm surrounded with incredible genetics.


Thank you for joining the conversation! Your input is always valued.


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