Monday, December 22, 2014

"I'll Be Home For Christmas"...by Gina Waite

Looking outside my window...it's difficult to believe it's the week of Christmas!  The usual mono-chromatic shade of winter is lacking in my neck of the woods this year.  It's been raining instead of snowing, the temperatures are about 10 degrees above normal and the view outside seems to shout spring rather than the beginnings of winter!  ...And yet, no matter where I am or how dismal the prospects of a white Christmas seem to be...If I close my eyes…I can relive the sounds and excitement I felt as a child at Christmas!


My mom (the most magical Christmas elf I've EVER known) was the BEST at making even the most pragmatic child, giddy with Christmas cheer!  She would start, mid-November or sometimes in October at the first sight of snow, playing her large assortment of Holiday tunes…from Christmas Crooners to fine orchestral opuses.  The house was filled with aromas of pumpkin, cinnamon and perfectly spiced cider!  The fire was always lit and crackling for spectators nearby!  …And all of this was lovely…but it was the tree and mantel that held the most magic for me!


When I say, tree…I actually meant…trees!  My mom would decorate a tree in the upstairs front room that represented the accurate artistry that filled her being!  Usually flocked and neatly color coordinated, neighbors would come and ask to look closely at the neatly-trimmed tree as even they had to closely marvel at its perfection!  The downstairs family Christmas tree…usually freshly cut and filled with the aroma of the outdoors…would be perfected in shape by our in-house carpenter (Dad) who would cut off an errant branch and screw it into the trunk where proper placement allowed.  There were the bubble-lights, the familiar child-made ornaments AND the lighted angel that sat atop as sentinel for all who gathered below!




The stocking-lined mantel above our fireplace was neatly decorated with a Dickens-inspired village to rival ANY collection I've ever seen.  Before setting the village atop the mantel, my mom would string white lights back and forth and up into the rock above the mantel.  This would allow a back light for the snow (quilt batting) my mom would set on top of the lights.  Then she would place miniature trees, working light posts, ice-skating rinks and houses in proportionate alignment that filled even my mind with awe at the idea of living in such an idealistic village!  I remember one miniature house that, when filled with water, obtained a realistic-looking chimney as it would send up a puff of smoke every-so-often….absolute magic!




Obviously, the pictures I've posted today are not what I've described above.  These are some of my favorite memories too!  Ones of my own children on Christmas morning, my Mom with Christmas excitement in her eyes, my Dad holding his sweet little granddaughter, the family-tree minus the bubble-lights!  …But I so desperately  wish I could find pictures of everything I've described and I’m certain they exist somewhere amongst all eight of us…but for now I’ll just have to find my “NBC Sounds of the Season” CD…turn on my spruce-scented wax warmer…close my eyes and…I’ll be there…I’ll be home for Christmas!

♦ Hope you'll share YOUR stories and photos with us at: nutshellstories@gmail.com.