My mother would roll out her homemade dough for all the Christmas pies.
It delighted a child’s eyes.
Seeing and smelling lemon, chocolate, coconut and cherry pies.
I remember long ago all the presents under the Christmas tree that filled a child’s eyes.
I remember helping my dad hang our outside multi colored Christmas lights and how cold it was that night. It was just him and I. We were putting Santa and the reindeer on the roof top. It was so cold that I couldn’t hardly see the lights from my frosted glazed eyes. I remember he picked out a music box for me, that Christmas. It wasn’t much, but I treasured listening to my favorite song from the movie, “Love Story.”
Spirit rise and let me remember more that I saw with my little girl eyes.
I remember every year being part of a Christmas play at church, and every year my lines to recite would grow longer each year. I always feared that I would forget my lines. I remember after the play we would all line up to get a stocking filled with Christmas ribbon candy and an apple and orange with a few shelled nuts.
I remember my dad driving to Granny Glover's house on Route 66. I remember the decorated street lights and silver bells. I remember it was snowing and we couldn't hardly see out the windows, and there were two semi trucks and we were stuck between them. We all thought that we were going to die. I could hear my dad praying. I saw it with my very own tired green eyes.
I remember Christmas Past when we would leave right after school was out after my school play. My dad liked to drive at night, he always said he could make his best timing at night. We would all take our pillows, and blankets and try to sleep through the night. My Granny Glover would greet us after a long tired 11-hour-ride depending on the weather and how many stops along the way. She would always greet us with a warm welcoming smile. She had her couch folded out into a bed waiting for us with her tired weak eye and one glass eye.
As soon as we walked into granny's house, we could smell all the food that she cooked for Christmas. It would move our excited eyes.
Not to mention her larger than eye crisp sour dill pickles.
Granny was so small and tiny but she could make anything with one eye and glass eye. Granny rolled and smoked her own tobacco. She was wise and no wacko. Her hair was long and curly at one time it had been red, it trailed down to her knees when she let it down. I always loved to watch her take it down and brush it. I always said when I was older I was going to have long hair like Granny Glover. Granny was from the backwoods of Tennessee. Granny Glover's dad had been a Baptist preacher and his father before him, and his father before him all from the backwoods of Tennessee.
Granny Glover would get up early the next morning and have breakfast ready with my favorite homemade peach and cherry jam ready for a child’s eyes.
Us kids could never pull anything over Granny Glover's one eye.
Granny could see more with one eye than most could see with two eyes.
She caught my older brother peeking through the hole in the bathroom door, and she scolded him good! She was so mad, I thought she was going to drag my brother to the floor. She said, "some parents can't see the bad in their own children, while they talk about others." I think she was talking about my own mother. And then she went back to cooking. It seemed like granny never left the kitchen.
All of my relatives from mother's side of the family gathered for the good garden fresh home cooked food.
And my dad was so delighted when he would see her mince meat pies.
I never understood how he liked those pies.
My twelve cousins and six aunts and 5 uncles would arrive, Uncle Ralph and Aunt Amy would play us all kids with money. We never saw so much money as kids. They played with dimes to make sure all of us kids walked away with something. Uncle Ralph always showed up with his dressy slack pockets stuffed with coins. We would play board games and cards until we couldn’t move, and we could no longer see through our tired eyes.
I remember the year my older sister, that was 10 years-older was left with granny to help her with Christmas dinner. Granny burned her finger and it had to be amputated. Granny always blamed my primping older sister. She said, "She never quit looking at herself in the mirror." It was a Christmas terror.
I remember my dad and I going to visit my other grandparents and sleeping on the bed with him. I rolled off onto the hard-wooden floor. I remember getting up and walking to the restroom and seeing another door. I peeked in and saw the whole room filled with all kinds of different European homemade candies. The smell from the room, it was like a candy factory waiting for a child’s excited eyes. I couldn’t wait to try all of grandma’s homemade Christmas candies.
I remember one Christmas getting a baby doll. I could still smell the fresh plastic scent. I took her outside to play with her. My older brother grabbed her from my arms and threw her on the street and ran over, and over her with his new bicycle until there wasn't anything left of her. I only got to hold her for and hour. I saw her parts scattered all over the street with her decapitated head, all marked with fresh tire marks.
I remember the Christmas after my accident when my brother scared me into a running car. We couldn't go anywhere that Christmas because I couldn't walk. I remember the aluminum silver tree and the bare trimmings. I sat back watching the wheel turn making the tree change different colors of red, blue, green and yellow. I can still hear the soft click each time it changed colors. It seemed that year the presents were as bare as the tree. The only excitement was watching the tree change colors.
I remember the Christmas I got all the puzzles and everyone was timing me how fast, I could put them all together. I could put a 200 piece puzzle together in minutes. My dad and Uncle Shelton were watching and timing me. My uncle said I was smart and I could grow-up to be a scientist. He was very impressed with me. But my brother's eyes were red filled with jealousy and anger. That's when he started treating me like a stranger. He decided then that he had to get rid of me.
I remember when I was six-years-old and we went to New Mexico for Christmas. Grandpa was very ill and they had his bed setup in the living room. I remember that Christmas going to Aunt Maedale's that lived a few miles away, and they transported Grandpa with his oxygen there in the back of a pickup truck. Aunt Maedale's home was a small frame house fixed up like a French cottage. She had the expensive French Provincial furniture throughout her house. We all thought she lived in royalty and it was only a two bedroom home. But she had a taste for beautiful things all around and outside her home. Aunt Maedale popped a lot of popcorn in her small kitchen and filled a large box. I bet there was 6 gallons of popcorn and at the bottom of the box was a $100 bill for my cousin that was home from college. Grandpa died a few days later. I remember waking up and they said he was gone. He had gone to Heaven. And the room was like he had never been there. The couch was back in place. They moved it all back in place while I was sleeping. I remember feeling scared and confused and crying, where's my grandpa? He was there when I went to sleep, and i woke up and he was gone. His life erased.
I remember my Christmas Past, Spirit. I remember. When a little girl couldn’t wait to see her cousins gather around Granny Glover's house, it filled my eyes with such warm happiness. It was a happiness that I wanted to feel everyday of the year. Just not that time of the year. I remember we never got that much for Christmas. It was bubble bath and pajamas and house slippers and one toy. I never got that many presents. But Christmas wasn’t about the presents. It was about families coming together and seeing all the love in each other’s eyes. It was about seeing all the sparkling Christmas lights and streets decked out with holiday decorations. It was all the things I saw as a child at Christmas time that filled my eyes with so much delight. It was at Granny's house that I felt like I was at home for Christmas. Oh, Spirit, I so miss those days.
I remember, Spirit.
I remember as a child my Christmas Past.
Oh, thank you, Spirit!
Spirit, whatever, happened to my older sister. I lost contact with her years ago when she betrayed me, she died in my heart. I could no longer invite her back into my heart.
"Your sister grew-up more conceited and selfish. She's still caught all the time looking at herself in the mirror, but now she's angry at the bitter lines that grow deeper. She's a woman with no heart. She plotted and schemed with your dark evil brother and twisted abusive brother-in-law. She moved your parents into her dark house keeping the lights off and isolated them from all, waiting for them to fall, until she took every penny from them. She kept her Christmas tree up with decorations for seven years confusing them making them believe everyday was Christmas to make up for all she missed out on as a child. She also manipulated the Will trying to steal your inheritance. She rewrote it. Even after she was ordered by the court to pay you back and split everything three ways. She thought it was payback time. You never saw a dime. Except for the insurance policies that your dad tried to hide from her that were in your name. When your dad died he had a fractured skull and nose and your mother had open sores from being tied up by her arms. I'm afraid her fate will end worse than your parents did. When your parents died she sent them to the cheapest lowest income funeral home for the poor on north east side of town. It was a good thing that your parents had their graves prepaid. There's no telling where she would've buried them all." The money she stole was quickly spent like a child at a state fair. Her health now is worst than fair." The dark grave is waiting for them all. Where there's gnarling and gashing of teeth, where there's no peace.
Spirit what about my niece and nephew? "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. They live by example."
And, Spirit, what about my brother. I never understood how he could hate me so. "You were born with a gift." "He was always there for the taking, no matter what you got, he wanted it." "He always wanted to be the only child that sucked on your mother's breast." "He left nothing for the rest." He never had any children. He's now left with no memory or mind as the clock sounds tick-tock around the clock." What goes around comes around."
Spirit, what can I do that I will never wind up as them? "Live life with meaning, laugh hard and harder and love deeply more each day, and dream big never giving up on your dreams, and fight for what you believe in, and always be a defender of the weak and above all, always remember to pray that forgiveness finds its place in you, and never forget your Christmas Past." Now, go and tell all you know the story of a little girl's Christmas Past and never let this story grow old. Be sure it's a story that's told that we may all hold onto the fond memories of Christmas Past as we grow old. The times we were able to share Christmas' with our loved ones.' And we learned through life experience that the main gift was being together. It wasn't the presents under the tree. Some of us share those same fond memories that will last forever, while some share the same sad memories, regardless of the memories always remember your favorite memories of Christmas Past.