Monday, December 11, 2006

It's beginning to feel a smidgen like Christmas

Just when I thought the Christmas spirit was going to blow right by me this year, I smelled a little whiff of it.

It happened yesterday, when I went to our new neighborhood supermarket for the first time. As I walked across the parking lot (the most distant space in the whole lot would be considered a close parking place at Wal-Mart), I heard Christmas carols playing. I was immediately struck by the fact that the carols didn't annoy me, unlike the ones that began playing on the radio the day after Thanksgiving.

The second thing that perked me up was that all the people inside the store were smiling--especially the customers. Even me. I hadn't seen smiling grocery shoppers in a long, long time. By the time I left the store, I was humming carols right along with the piped in (piped out? to the parking lot?) music.

I have only one memory of Christmas before I started school. My father was home from the army the Christmas after I turned four, and there was a brief moment of childhood trauma on Christmas morning. One of mother's nylon stockings had been hung beside the front door while I slept. They'd filled it with fruit -- apples, oranges, bananas -- and hard Christmas candy. My father thought it would be a good joke to tell me it was my mother's leg hanging there. Mother tucked one leg under her skirt and agreed that it was true.

I could see the fruit, but there was a long moment of uncertainty before they laughed and eased my concern. It's interesting to me that I can't remember the joy of the Christmas presents, but that anxious moment has stayed with me so clearly.

That's my only bad memory of Christmas morning, and I consider myself very fortunate. All the ones since then have more than made up for it.

I'm beginning to think this one's gonna turn out pretty well, too.


  1. Oh my gosh, my eyes grew huge at that. Some sense of humor there. Dad used to wake us up on Christmas morning by telling us it was snowing outside. It never failed to get us flying from our rooms, and it was never true. But still, I look for it to be true one day.

  2. merry christmas velvet. hope you have a lot of good memories from this christmas.

  3. It's lovely when the carols suddenly seem to hold a special note and the fairy lights seem to acquire a certain twinkle they didn't have before, I think the trouble is they start Christmas too early and then they are just songs and just pretty lights. Glad you have found the magic of it Velvet.

    Its funny I remember the excitement of the filled stockings most of all, although not in the same way as you. Can see why that memory stuck.

    Hope you have a great Christmas this year Velvet.

  4. Isn't it cool how Christmas will just suddenly be there? That's my favorite part of this miracle season, one minute nothing, then a sound or a smell drifts by and bam! Your heart is singing.

  5. D.I., my parents shared a warped sense of humor, and I inherited it. They were only 23 the Christmas I was four. Fortunately, all of us became more responsible with our humor as we matured.

    What tickled me most about your comment was that it was your dad, not you kids, who was awake first on Christmas Day.

    Patsy, thanks, and I wish the same for you.

    Sandy, I think you're exactly right: it all starts too early. I hope you're enjoying all the pre-Christmas festivities.

    Kat, the magic takes longer to work now that even the grandkids are almost grown, but it seems to be kicking in in spite of my bah-humbug self.

  6. I'm not feeling it myself, but Happy Holidays...


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