Tuesday, December 22, 2009

One Year

I don't remember how old I was. My best guess is maybe six or seven.

We always put up the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve afternoon. The main ornaments were varied colors of plain globes - blue, gold, red, green. Colored lights with the same colors. Tinsel, the non-crinkled kind. At this point in time, I was below the age of participation. Maybe I was allowed to put some tinsel on a low branch, under careful supervision.

When the tree was up, it was time for cleaning up for church. An early dinner, then the service. The only lights in the sanctuary were on the altar, the Lenten candle and the Christmas tree, over in the corner next to the baptismal font on the right. Kids from all the classes sang songs appropriate for their age. The liturgy and the sermon were shortened to make way for us kids.

Then the highlight. As did each Lenten service end on Wednesdays, the altar candles (and this night, the Christmas tree lights) were extinguished. To the light of the Lenten Candle we sang Abide with Me, a cappella. Then the candle was extinguished. Rather than the normal bustling leaving, we walked out silently.

Back home, pajamas were put on, then milk and cookies to the accompaniment of Christmas music. Parents in their chairs, kids on the floor. This particular year, next to the tree, I was daydreaming about the globe ornaments. Something about planets and rocket ships - the kind of stuff a kid my age thought of. My fantasy flowed, then the call for bed. We put out a glass of milk and a plate of cookies for Santa Claus, and off to bed.

The next year, everything was the same. We put up the tree, I might have been allowed to attach a low hanging ornament or two, under careful supervision. Clean up, early dinner, low lights, singing and Abide with Me. Back home, pajamas, milk and cookies. Parents in their chairs, kids on the floor. And try as I might, having thought about it off and on for the past year, I couldn't settle into my planet and rocket reverie. Cookies and milk for Santa and off to bed, trying to figure out what went wrong. Same everything except a different, older kid.


Debo Blue said...

Thanks for sharing this special memory. Merry Christmas.

Sonja's Mom said...

Your Christmas Eves were very much like mine. Good memories.

It isn't the presents I remember - it is the people/family and the atmosphere of the season that tugs at my heart strings.

Thank you for sharing and Merry Christmas.

Kvatch said...

We were Christmas morning kind of folk, but no matter how much my brother and I kvetched, no presents were opened until Mom was dressed, and the breakfast dishes where washed and put away.

Now, the Frogette and I open gifts whenever we damn well get the urge. :-)

Dave said...

Thanks ladies and frog. We were morning people too. But, we got to open presents early, then what may be the first brunch/breakfast. Which brings up another thought.

My father never cooked much; except, breakfast and only on Sundays and holidays. Pancakes and bacon or sausage. On Christmas, paper here and there, at a point it was time to head to the kitchen and chow down.

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas, and best wishes for the coming year!

Dave said...

Thanks Thomas.

fermicat said...

Merry Christmas!