Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas when I was eight.



Hi, Pat Davids here.
I thought I would share with you a moment from my Christmas Past.

It’s Christmas Eve and I’m eight years old in 1960. My four brothers and I cluster on the windowseat peering into the darkness for a glimpse of Rudolph’s red nose in the sky. He has to be coming soon. I can’t wait much longer.

My dad, a farmer, has gone out to check the cattle just as he does every night before bed. Mom is washing supper dishes. Suddenly, she pulls aside the curtains at the kitchen window, looks out and says, “I believe it’s time to go upstairs.”

Finally!
Giddy with excitement, all five of us kids race upstairs to my room and pile onto the bed. There is no heat in the upstairs of that old farmhouse, but we don’t care. Santa is coming.

No one dares look out the windows. If Santa sees you peeking he won’t stop. My mother has us all kneel around the bed and pray for children who won’t have a happy Christmas. As I dropped to my knees, I wonder how that is possible. Christmas is so magical. I sneak in a prayer for some gift I really want from Santa, but I pray for other children, too.

Our prayers done, we huddle on the bed again. Outside, our old dog begins barking like mad. Sleigh bells jingle in the distance, then closer, then WHOMP!

Santa is on our roof. Reindeer stomp as he calls out, “Ho, Ho, Ho!”
I press my hands to my mouth to hold in my excitement. Soon, I hear the rattle of packages being placed under the tree downstairs. Santa shouts out, “Merry Christmas!”
Then all is quiet. No bells, no barking dog. Just as I am about to explode with anticipation, I hear my dad come in the house. He yells, “What’s all that racket? Kids, come see this!”

I tell you it is a true Christmas miracle that none of us were killed as we bolted over each other in a race down those stairs.

I open my presents with joy. There is peanut brittle candy and an orange for each of us. Beneath the tree I find a beautiful baby doll in a pink wooden crib. It will be a few more years before I appreciate the care my father put into making it for me. I just loved it.

When the presents are all opened, and the hubbub dies down, it’s time to get into our best clothes. The church parking lot is full when we arrive. The light glows beautifully through the stained glass windows onto the snow as we head inside for Midnight Mass.

I know that I’ve come to welcome the baby Jesus into the world.
And that was Christmas when I was eight.
Do you remember a special Christmas from when you were small? Share the story with us. We'd love to hear it.

3 comments:

  1. Awwww! Nice story!

    I don't know that we've ever had any really special Xmas', but last year was definitely one to remember!

    I was 16, my sister 14. She always comes and gets me up, then we get mom up. Then we go downstairs, after mom FINALLY gets up. But, we're not allowed in the living room. She has to use the bathroom, get her coffee and we all have to have something to eat before allowed in! (Santa always knows to bring us DD munchkins, so we can eat fast!) When allowed in the living room, mom HAS to take a picture of us, Maddie(the dog), and our stockings. We open stockings first, then go for the tree. Well, after all this last year, we did stockings and had each opened one present from under the tree(we take turns), then...the power went out! We opened the WHOLE tree with only candles, but when we finished it was starting to get light outside. As soon as we finished and started picking up the paper and stuff...the power came back on! It was(and still is) really annoying! But, it made for a special Xmas. Doing it in the dark with only candles made me think about the past and how that was how they used to do it. It certainly made me appreciate modern things like heat and electricity much more!!

    Merry (early) Xmas!!
    Hannah

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  2. Wow pat what a memory thats so cool.
    Im not sure I have a special memory of Christmas like that.
    I do remember one year I was about 6 or 7 I had gone to bed so that I would wake up early (now thats funny cos I always use to get up at 6) but around 10pm or 11pm I got up and thought it was morning and came out to see my presents only to be told it was still night time. I use to go to bed by about 7.30 at night when I was little or even earlier. didn't sleep alot that night in the end

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  3. Hannah
    Christmas in the dark. How cool, pardon the pun. I can see why that made the day memorable.

    Jenny,
    Thanks for the cute memory.
    We never had to wait until morning for our gifts. The tradition of Santa coming while the kids are up continues to this day at my parents farm were we all gather for Christmas Eve. Now, there are so many grandchildren and great-grandchildren that they simply fill up the stairwell. Santa doesn't get up on the roof anymore, but does ho, ho, ho a lot and jingle those bells for all he's worth.
    Pat

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