Friday, December 26, 2014

Merry Christmas Morning

The sun shines bright this morning. I'm sharing a happier post from three years ago. A time of expectancy before some things crashed in my world, causing me to battle with disappointment. I must always remember the lavishness of God and that He knows best. Like the last verse of Longfellow's hymn, I must never give up hope for our dark world. Surely, when he wrote, I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, the world was dark then, too. A nation in a civil war, missing a spouse and physical pain from trying to save her from the fire. He buried her on their wedding anniversary. How much pain the human race endures, yet Jesus entered this world to give us inner peace through His offer of salvation. For that we must be grateful, a love that never changes.

 Christmas morning was a bonanza of toys and gifts when I was growing up. Mom shopped all year long and I know one of my favorite dolls, Baby First Step, was found by my sisters at Triby's Hardware very close to Christmas because it was so hard to find.
Mom and Dad put the turkey in the oven early Christmas morning. I believe five thirty or six am. My mom, not a morning person, still did this for a long time.
I believe I was six, the year I woke in the middle of the night, I thought. I crept downstairs to see the explosion of toys. This year, Dan and his friend Billy, stayed up putting together the Jane West set, with everything plastic, down to the skillet with eggs and bacon for the fire. She looked like the mold of her brother, Johnny West, only with a plastic blond pageboy haircut. A palomino horse and German Shepherd dog accompanied her with her tan pliable outfits for riding, and the saddle to put on. It was wonderful. I got a Barbie, books and learning books. A watch under the tree read quarter to seven, but I hadn't learned to tell time yet. Santa didn't wrap my gifts, every thing was in working order, the watch set and wound.
Excitement couldn't be held in, I ran back upstairs to the back bedroom to blurt out all that Santa had left. I think, now, how my parents must have just gone back to bed, so tired, probably shortly fell asleep. They joined me in my joy, acting as surprised as I was. I love them still for encouraging me in every way.
In fifth grade, I started suspecting that Santa didn't really set up these toys. My niece Debbie who spent most Christmases with us, along with her parents from New Jersey, didn't have unwrapped presents or the ones she did have left unwrapped, I saw my mother buy. I also pretended to not see the doll I got that year in the bottom of the hutch, because I so wanted to believe Santa came down our chimney. But the Velvet doll, with the growing hair, in her box is still etched on my memory behind that locked door.
Sixth grade saw the last of my dolls and my slipping belief in Santa or the beginning of the grown up belief in the jolly old elf. I got Baby Thumbelina, a soft body doll, that squirmed with a pull of a string from her body. She was small, and not as loved as my former dolls, like Baby First Step and Cheerful Tearful, but more than poor Dancerina, who was practically useless.
Christmas morning continued though to hold surprises through my teen years. A hooded red robe that lasted for many years, kept me warm in our drafty old textile mill apartment in Connecticut. A big box of Estee Lauder makeup brought a sixteen year old glamor. The fire and dinner preparations filled the home with coziness.
I often rode along with Dad to pick up Grandma for Christmas Day, and Bitsy, her terrier. The vacant streets, the gray day but joy of a special holiday gathered around. Grandma was jolly. Bitsy had a red bow on her collar.
Relatives filtered in late morning for the big feast Mom and Dad had made. The leaves in the dining room table, the best china, and pop, usually ginger ale, in gold color glasses that were for holidays waited. Everything was special for this day.
Happy Christmas morning! God rest you merry!



Thankful for parents who taught me the lavish love of God through
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