>A Christmas Tale II
My mom absolutely adored Christmas. She had a knack for it. Whether it was picking out exactly the right gift or decorating our little tree, she nailed it like no one else I know. No small feat considering our poverty.
We grew every kind of food imaginable, except citrus fruits. My grandpa and uncles grew cattle, pigs, and chickens. Summers were for canning and freezing and working in the garden. We always had plenty of food.
People Mom worked with, as well as an older cousin, were always giving us hand-me-downs, so we had clothes, too. We loved the hand-me-downs….it was like Christmas all over again!
She was also quite the seamstress. Mom created dresses and jumpers and pant-suits for us till I was in the 5th grade….
I had no idea we were poor until the 7th grade when a friend asked why I didn’t wear Levi’s. What were Levi’s, I wondered?
Our tree should have looked like this little tree. Not just in scrawniness, but with the same lack of presents.
In fact, all the way up to Christmas Eve, there would be no presents when we were little. (At that time, it was just Sister and me.)
The magic would happen while we were asleep.
We shared a bed, Sister and I, and we’d whisper far into the night about staying awake to see Santa and wonder about what he would bring.
More times than I could count, we’d hear Mom call down the hallway and tell us to be quiet and go to sleep or Santa would skip right over us. Of course, we’d just go off into fits of giggles then…..
One of my favorite memories, one that held so very much magic for me, was the morning we woke and found a child sized table with two chairs….just for Sister and me! Sitting in the chairs were two dolls and the table was laid out with a tea set. That was the first time I truly believed Santa had been in our home and that he’d set up that table for us. Just for us!
Our stockings had been stuffed full of candy and gum and crayons and coloring books…..
I can close my eyes and remember the magic of that morning.
My mom was pretty amazing at Christmas time. She was magical that way….
Now, knowing that she’s the one who took such care to make things special for us, that she had to sacrifice to do it, the memories I have of those Christmases are all the more precious to me.
We may have been poor, but we always felt like we had an abundance…..