Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Magic of the Season

My Mother wrote this piece for the Lansing State Journal a few years ago. I have it framed and hanging on my wall. I stand and read it every so often and it chokes me up every time.

In this home, Santa, magic of season still thrive
by Judith (Bommer) Bridger

I believe in Santa Clause, in reindeer on the rooftop, in a wish list and a plate of cookies beside the fireplace. I believe in stockings filled with oranges and nuts and a candy cane crammed in the top. I believe in unwrapped toys made by elves decorated with ribbons and bows: a book or two, a pair of mittens, a baby doll (that I can hardly resist buying for my granddaughter this year) a coloring book and socks, always socks.

Mostly I believe in the wonder of a small child standing before the blazing tinsel-decked tree on Christmas morning, amazed that Santa did actually come during the night, ate the cookies and left a note that read, "Some little gifts for my special girls, with love, Santa."

The small child was mine of course. And one became three. The wonderful daughters. Years of Christmas mornings when they stood huddled together peering with delight, laughing and giggling over what Santa had brought them.

As they grew older, their laughter became whispers and serious conversations as they waited by the tree for their dad and me to make our way down the stairs in our bathrobes. Christmas morning became a tradition of nibbling on poppy seed bread and blueberry bars, admiring packages, the wrapping paper and the bows.

We laughed and poked fun over phrases like "Christmas Eve Day Morning" before eventually opening packages. It took hours.

Next came the Christmas breakfast of potatoes, onions and bacon all fried together with a scramble of eggs, a steaming bowl of freshly made applesauce and flaky croissants.

I miss waking to the sounds of their voices. I cannot recall Christmas and my children without tears. They are happy tears, yet mixed with that little longing, for what always seems like the good ol' days.

All my daughters are grown now and I'm gathering little stacks of Santa toys for the grandchildren. Two boys and one girl this time.

The welcome lights are in the windows and the tree is adorned; years of old decorations revived from their boxes, finding their longtime home or an exciting new one. Each ornament admired and placed in its perfect location, rearranged and considered. Tinsel's the final touch; strands hung carefully, as I consider how melting snow would make an icicle.

Under the tree, there's a collection of teddy bears. It looks like Santa has already been here.

How can I not believe in Santa? I am attached to the pleasure of this holiday ritual. Peace and joy and love. It overtakes me. I will cling to it as long as I can.

written for the Lansing State Journal and published on Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Thanks Mom!
Love, Kristin


Leigh said...

Oh, tears here too!
Sniff, sniff (grabbing and dabbing with a kleenex)
I can so relate to that story, as my children become older (the oldest is 18). And I relate because it sound sso much like my own childhood.

Thanks for that. I love it!

Kirby3131 said...

Hi Leigh! Merry Christmas to you - I was crying again as I was typing it. I had to stop several times to blow my nose! What my mother doesn't say is that the three of us girls are all six and a half years apart in age - so as soon as one started getting "too old" for believing in Santa, the younger one was just getting bright eyed about him and the magic happened all over again.

Every time I turn on the christmas tree lights I am in awe of the magic. That has never faded for me.

Anonymous said...

And thank you Kristin. It still makes me cry also. Happy tears I think. Nostalgic. I sit here at the Wild Goose B&B, lovely fireplace, cup of coffee, snowy winter morning...alone. Well not exactly...I hear the voices of the inn keeper and a friend of his who both will be preparing breakfast for us all in a few minutes, but it's not like coming down to the living room with a room full of happy kids. Life does just continue to change, minute by minute. New experiences. It's all good. Last evening the inn keeper (who just happens to be a former Dancing Goat customer, of course) put up his Christmas tree. This morning when I went down for coffee it greeted me at the bottom of the stairs. The scent of pine with lights blazing. And the coffee was hot and fresh. Merry Christmas in all it's forms. Much love to you and your blogging friends, lm

Anonymous said...

wow... that was really sweet.

I know how she feels. Only 35 myself, I find myself at Christmas longing for our childhood Christmas insanity. The blaze of presents and day-long gorging on candy and home-cooked food. Visitors in and out...

We usually gather before Christmas and after Christmas now, but THE day is spent at home for the rest of the family so that they themselves can build these same memories.

oh, and thanks so much for the shout out at Apartment Therapy!! LOL! At least now I got one more than myself! HA

Merry Christmas

Kirby3131 said...

Anonymous is my Mother. The signature at the end of her comment is "lm" which means Love Mom. Just thought I'd explain that.

Thanks Mom. I'm so glad that you were able to sit by a fire with a real Christmas tree nearby. Sounds just lovely.

Megan - I agree with the longing for insanity lol Thanks for stopping by!