I put up our little Christmas tree recently; actually, it was the one my parents had; already decorated. The lights still work, and it’s on our bay window, looking as beautiful and bright as always. It seems that, no matter how old we are, we still get that thrill of the first snow fall, putting up the Christmas tree and hanging up the lights. I always hark back to what Christmases were like when I was growing up. On Christmas Eve, my parents and I went to my grandparents’ house. I brought my tiny suitcase as I always stayed over night on Christmas Eve.
My grandmother always made a fabulous seafood chowder (which I now make every Christmas Eve) for supper. It was wonderful, and there were homemade pickles and rolls. Dessert was always something extra special. While the adults sat around the table having coffee, I would go into the parlor where the Christmas tree stood. All the ornaments I loved were on it, and below it was beautifully wrapped Christmas gifts. I would lie down under the tree, and look up at the lights and wonder when Santa Claus would arrive.
When my parents went back home, I got into my nightgown and took my plate of cookies upstairs to what my grandmother called the “pink room.” It was her favorite color, and the walls and ceiling were pink, as was all the bedding. There was a window to the side of the bed, and I always opened it a tiny crack; I loved the smell of the pine trees. I would read until I was tired, and then I would turn out the light, and listen to my grandparents talking.
As I drifted off, I swore that I could hear Santa’s sleigh bells in the night.