As Christmas Eve approaches, I am often overtaken by powerful memories of childhood, home, and especially, my parents (both passed away in the mid-90s).
I clearly remember Mother telling Mavis and me to go to sleep quickly, because Santa wouldn’t stop at our house if he knew we were awake. So at bedtime, I’d pull up the blankets reeeeally close to my neck and shut my eyes reeeeally tight. And one year, I knew — I just knew — that I heard sleigh bells in the distance. I was terrified that Santa would come to our house and find me awake, and that he’d be disappointed.
Like there were rules. Haha.
What I know to be true now is that we were probably driving Mother crazy with our questions and excitement (we were never “wild” or “unruly” as children; it simply was not allowed, and we’d never dream of risking the consequences), and she wanted to make sure that when it was bedtime, we got down to business.
Still, the memory of those nights is strong and treasured and fond. I think the years of 1965-69 were among the happiest in my life, and I keep the Christmas memories of those times close to my heart. Even the ones that didn’t start out so happy.
So, if you’re around today, give us a fond Christmas memory, because Christmas, to me, is as much a time for reminiscing as for celebration.