Saturday, December 23, 2006

A Child's Christmas

A replay tale, using Uber's latest Christmas print.




I remember the sticky pine wreath and tree sap, weeping through my mittens, leaving little black fuzz on my fingers and a pleasant smell on my mind. Crazy Mistletoe traps hovered over doors, snatching perfectly sane adults in their grasp, only to urge them to pull me into a conspiracy of kisses. Yams, hams and Rankin Bass Christmas classic clay animation classics, with endless sequential stories of optimistic triumph over holiday tribulation, marched along the beating drum of carols and musical tributes. Where did mom hide those presents? Can I guess what's in this box?

There I was, Christmas eve, waiting in my grandmother's house for Santa's arrival. A brisk winter wind would usher the gnarled fingers from that craggy old oak, across a roof shingle or two. I would whisper over to my sister.

"Did you hear that?!"

I gasped, slipping from underneath the quilt, and padding to the window. I could feel the frigid breath of winter crystals kissing my cheek, through the leaky, creaky window sash, as I pressed on the glass, trying to purchase a glimpse.
"Shhhh! Quiet! Get back to bed!"
My sister would caution me, reminding me that if Santa detected my awakened state, he would hurry off to the next house, leaving us unadorned by gifts. She was bigger, but none the wiser. She also reminded me that if I scared St. Nick off, she would quickly cast my broken body on her scales of sibling justice, for my curious folly.

To my relief, the next morning, there was that brand new box full of Tinkertoys, the Erector set or a dazzling box of Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots. Stumbling in excitement and pajamas, in the midst of the smell of Christmas morning bacon sizzling, hot buttered toast, steaming rich cocoa and pancakes, we would shower each other in the confetti of exhausted bows and paper. Gramps would have to shoo us into the television den, since our rough housing had upended Gram's ashtray, bringing a brief orange shower down on her seasoned wood floor, still fuming from an early wash of Murphy's Oil soap, wicking between the cracks.

As I get older, the things I cherish about Christmas are those very things that make tradition so important to people. I don't care much about gifts these days. The sounds, the tastes, the ornaments, music and gentle touches of the holiday mean much more to me now.

I know many people never grow out of selfishness. I know many people have painful Christmas holiday memories, often brought on by self-imposed emotional obligations. I have been through enough of those years, sometimes ruined by my own selfishness. It's all part of accepting the perpetual imperfection of our lives, I suppose.

Ultimately, isn't selflessness and human imperfection the lesson taught to us, by the human being who's name and birth are celebrated every Christmas?

9 comments:

RT said...

To answer your question...yes.

The Conservative UAW Guy said...

God bless and a merry Christmas to you and yours, insol.
Keep inspiring us.

Uber said...

Yeah, this one still brings a little sigh and tear to the eye. A good tear, honest.

Merry Christmas and thanks so much for all the linky-love.

RT said...

Merry Christmas, Insol. Hope all is well and that you are enjoying time with your family. :)

fmragtops said...

Again, I miss this post due to blogging difficulties. Crap!

Anyhoo, this is a great post, Insol, thanks for bringing it back.

Belated Merry Christmas, and early Happy New Year!

Difster said...

Merry Christmas!

And I'm engaging in a little shameless self promotion...

I'm taking nominations for best and worst of 2006 in whatever categories you want to name. Leave your entry in the comments. I'll post the results on New Year's Day.

The Conservative UAW Guy said...

You ok, Insol?
Hope you had a great Christmas!

Awaiting your words...

RT said...

Happy New Year, Insol! Hope all is well.

Insolublog said...

I thank everyone for the kind remarks. My personal affairs outside of blogging, have been tumultuous this holiday, to say the least. I am somewhat relieved to see this year turn its last page. I hope to be back to blogging regularly, soon.