A warm Christmas

A warm Christmas

I was nine years old when we left the state I was born in, New York. There, Christmas had been picture perfect with snow, and heaters, and fire places going. Cookies of all sorts were baked and we drank egg nog. The tree was all decorated and no presents under it until after I went to bed Christmas Eve. I would leave cookies and milk for Santa and maybe a carrot for his reindeer; they deserved something for flying his butt everywhere.

Sometime in the night I would wake up and sneak out into the living room. Sometimes the presents wouldn’t be there yet, but usually they were. I would bend over and peek under the tree. I never touched any but I would sniff at them like a dog.

Then I would see my stocking stashed full beyond the brim. I imagined it full of candy and gum and little toys as it was every Christmas. No stupid orange and apple in ours! And then I would spy the plate of cookies with all but one completely gone. The last one would have a bite taken from it. And the carrots where gone too. Then I would sneak back to my room and go to the window. I would peer out into the dark night and see the snow glowing luminescently under the moon. It was a magical and quiet moment.

Then we moved to a totally different world, Arizona. There was no snow! And it was hardly cold. Forty degrees compared to below zero temperatures. Our first year we didn’t even have a tree. We made due with what we had. But after that it got better and better. Now these days I’m 20. We get the biggest tree we can find and end up usually cutting some off. We still bake some cookies. We decorate the tree with many gorgeous things. The presents mostly get put under the tree but a few are saved for Christmas night.

And I still sneak out halfway through to sniff the gifts and peer at my stashed stocking. And when I return to my room I still peer out the window. And even though there is no snow on the ground, it doesn’t matter. As my breath fogs up the window I can feel and see the spirit of Christmas. That magical moment still takes hold. Then I jump into bed and snuggle deep under the covers as I wait for morning.

Merry Christmas to everyone. I hope the spirit touches you.

Shells =)

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