How do you choose a favorite Christmas memory to write about when there are so many?Do I write about when my son came home from the hospital on Christmas Eve when he was in first grade after having his ruptured appendix removed earlier that week? How my sister showed up at his hospital room with a Christmas tree and decorations just in case he couldn’t come home for Christmas?
Do I write about the little blind boy in the bakery I met a week before Christmas whose face lit up because of a simple gift of a chocolate chip cookie?
Do I write about singing Handel’s “Messiah” for the first time complete with an orchestra?
Or should I write about the day I found my true love again while standing in a white church, in the sight of God. Should I write about that moment when the rest of the world fell away and there were just us two standing in the church? We couldn’t let go of each other then and we haven’t since.
Maybe I can talk about the Christmas when, at the last minute, my friends added two extra places at their table for my children whose plans had changed due to an unexpected emergency.
Or maybe I can talk about when my two sisters came to see me sing in a cantata at church.
I could go back in time and reminisce about singing carols at a nursing home or handing out food and clothing to the homeless in New York City. Then there is the special woman I could write about who brings me an angel ornament every year because I gave all mine away one year to a family who didn’t have any.
There was the year I realized that my mother was Santa Claus because I recognized her handwriting on the tags on the gifts. So many wonderful memories to choose from.
As far as holiday food goes, if I don’t make a chocolate mousse cake I am in big trouble. If there is no ham in the fridge I am in even bigger trouble. Bouillabaisse on Christmas Eve is a tradition, served after the candlelight service at church. Homemade toffee is a must as is a bowl full of clementines on the counter at all times. Hot mulled apple cider is key.
Try as I might, I can’t forget the year my parents sent out the Christmas card of all of us in our new pink nightgowns, but you could see our underwear through the sheer material. I think I was 7 years old. My older sisters were mortified.
Maybe I can write about how it snowed on Christmas Eve the year my first son was born and how I woke him up to show him. I am always dreaming of a white Christmas.
How can I recapture and explain the feeling of coming out of church at midnight on Christmas Eve to find that a dusting of snow has made everything so quiet and beautiful? Or the memory of my friend sobbing so hard while singing “Silent Night” in church that she blew out her candle. The words “sleep in heavenly peace” never had much meaning for me until the Christmas after Mom died.
What should I write about? This is a tough assignment. Well, hopefully, I will think of something …
Merry Christmas to all. And to all a good night.