I am a great believer that it is possible to find beauty in even the darkest of times. I looked out my window this morning to see another dismal, heavy grey day, and thought, well I would just like to crawl back into to bed and pull the covers up for the rest of the day. The bleak weather makes it hard to be motivated to do anything. Then, I turned on the lights of my Christmas tree. White sparkling lights filled the corner and I felt better. I have of course, decorated many Christmas trees over the years. One year I bought a white tree to decorate, now I have a different one. I can’t explain why exactly, but tree brings something extra special to the room when it is set up. It is not what is under it that matters to me, but the ornaments that my children and I have collected over the years, and the lights especially. They remind me of my childhood.
When Kevin first gave me this challenge to write about a Christmas or winter memory each day for the twelve days of Christmas, I immediately thought about the boxes of old photographs that I have, with many memories stored away in them. As I have gone through them, I realized that I don’t have photographs of the Christmas’ spent with my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. We spent many holidays, my younger sister, brother and I, up in Sudbury. One Christmas Eve, we stayed over at my aunt Joan’s house in Garner. My cousins and I “slept” down in the basement. There were six or seven us lined up on the floor in sleeping bags, blankets and pillows, whispering in the dark while the adults enjoyed their own festivities. The lights on the Christmas tree were left on for us. I imagine it was a trick of my mind, being overtired, full of excitement and imagination, but when there was a sudden noise from the fireplace that sounded like someone coming down the chimney, I could not contain myself. I told everyone in as loud a whisper as I possibly could that Santa might be coming right then. The entire room hopped up on their knees to see, giggling and whispering. It was loud enough to draw the attention of some of the adults and someone yelled down the stairs for us to be quiet or Santa wouldn’t come. That’s when I got up and protested I had heard him coming down the chimney. Impossible! GO TO SLEEP! I sighed and crawled back under the covers, always keeping an eye on the fireplace.