One cherished childhood memory of mine is of a homey Christmas Eve night I shared with my big brother. Christmas was magical at our house. The family income was modest and with five kids, four at the time, we did not receive many indulgences throughout the year. But at Christmas time my parents pulled out all the stops. They saved all year to make all our dreams come true for this one enchanting time each year.
|Not my real family|
“Sis, Sis, are you awake?” It was my brother peeking in to see if I was as restless as he was. “I think I hear Mom and Dad putting our presents under the tree”
We were pretty young, but I don’t remember ever believing in Santa Claus. I was always a realist and knew that it was Mom and Dad playing Santa. Our cozy house was kept warm by a gas heater located in the wall between the bedrooms and the living room. There were slats in the upper part of the heater that you could see through. We stealthily crept up to the heater and peered through the slats to see what goodies were being unveiled.
We stood in the warmth of the heater, holding hands, silently watching until the last gifts were tenderly placed around the tree to insure maximum impact on Christmas morning. Suddenly it was time for us to rush back to our beds to avoid being caught in the act.
Even though we had been up so late, my brother and I were the first ones up in the morning. There were still lots of surprises despite our secret preview. I am not sure why I remember that Christmas Eve so clearly after all these fifty some years. Maybe because it was a time of innocence, security and bonding that only a loving family can provide a small child. What would I give to feel so safe again, if only for a little while.