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.


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