Saturday, December 09, 2006

A Christmas Memory

This time of year I often fall asleep remembering Christmases past. The earliest Christmas memories I have are from when I was about three.
I remember the ceramic mug a friend of my mother's from church made me, a three-dimensional impression of Santa's face, with a gentle smile. I remember the smell of the Christmas tree, and the crackle of wrapping paper as Mama wrapped mysterious boxes. I remember my grandmother warning me not to go into her closet, telling me that if I did, a spider would get me. I remember riding on Daddy's shoulders through the Sears Roebuck store, to look at the biggest model train set in the world (I don't know if it really was, but that is how I remember it). I remember the tricycle Daddy had to adapt; I was too small for it, and couldn't reach the pedals if I was sitting on the seat. So he screwed blocks of wood to the pedals so that I could push them. It was thrilling, riding around the dining table, leaning forward to see over the handlebars! I remember that I got a little doctor's kit, complete with "medicine" bottles, filled with the little colored sprinkles we normally use to decorate cakes. I promptly spilled some on the hardwood floor in the dining room, and then rode my tricycle through them, grinding the sprinkles into the tire treads, where they stayed forever. I remember the sparkly icecicles, the gold and silver tinsel, the bright lights on the tree.
Most of all I remember the Nativity scene under the tree, and how Mama and Daddy crouched on the floor, holding my hands and letting me gently touch each figure as they told me the story of the baby Jesus' birth.
I love Christmas.