by Jaime Kaufhold
(December 20, 1991)
Christmas Eve is upon us once more. I think I finished my shopping yesterday but my husband doubts it because every year I send him out at the last minute to pick up something I forgot.
I’m not the only one though. The town keeps bustling until 4:30 p.m. Today it is lightly snowing and and it seems to add to the sound of all the Christmas Carols playing, making the afternoon feel special.
Christmas is the time of year when families try their best to get together. I never realized until ten years ago what it was like to not have all my children home at Christmas. Now I know how my mother felt when I moved many miles away from home. Fortunately, now we are all just a phone call away, if we can get through.
It won’t be long now until Santa starts his long journey south. My children always wanted to go to bed about 5:30 in the evening on Christmas Eve so that morning would come faster. It was the only night of the year that I had to beg them to stay up. After they listened to the Santa Report on the radio, off they would go. I’d warn them that no one was to open presents until everyone was up.
It would be very early in the morning that I’d hear the whispers and the laughs coming from the living room. Then I’d hear their feet tiptoeing down the hallway and the bedroom door would open.
“Mom are you awake yet?” they’d say.
Sometimes I’d make them go back to bed, especially if I’d only been in bed for a few hours having stayed up past midnight to finish wrapping. But sometimes I’d get up, telling them they had to wait for me to make coffee first. They’d start jumping up and down then run back to the living room, gather around the tree and start “feeling” the presents. Money was tight back then, but Christmas was the one time of the year I made sure the kids all got what they wanted.
I still get up early on Christmas morning. The children whose smiles I see are now my grandchildren, and after a nice leisurely coffee and breakfast, I pay them a visit. Their living room looks as perfect as ours did - wrapping paper cover the floor, clothes, ribbons and toys scattered everywhere. The girls are excited, their parents look exhausted. Later we will all get together for Christmas dinner and reminisce about Christmas’ past.
Here is my take on a traditional favourite:
T’was the night before Christmas,
The kids all in bed,
Visions of toys danced in their heads,
Dad was all dressed in the familiar red suit,
The dog wasn’t sure, she was biting his boot.
I could do nothing but sit back and smile,
The parcels were placed in eat little piles,
The stockings weren’t hung by the chimney with care,
The were placed neatly on the back of the chair,
There were dollies and buggies, a wagon of course,
And in the corner a small rocking horse,
Looking it over we had to agree,
With the toys in place it was a beautiful tree.
All that was left was Santa’s snack to devour,
Arranging it all took less than an hour,
Checking it over and closing the door,
He promptly went upstairs and started to snore.
I on the other hand wasn’t as quick,
But I knew at the moment, he loved playing St. Nick.
Merry Christmas everyone.