Ghosts of Christmas Past I: Grand Aunt Hazel

She had a drawer
A magic drawer
We could choose
One gift on Christmas Eve

I have a rattan trunk
It collects treasures all year
Like her drawer
And I send them off to
Far-flung places
For gifts of Christmas Present

Christmas Eve at her cozy home
Leontyne Price singing Ave Maria
Cousin Johnny concocting weird cocktails
Baby Lisa sitting in her Grampa's lap
Tasting rutabagas, mashed, for the first time

And liking them
Only her and my dad…..

And there was a gorgeous midnight service
Candles and folks from the
Minnesota orchestra
Joy and tears
Home and safe
Dad's Grasshoppers
Because they are green

Of Course……

Blessed night to all
From a Presbyterian Atheist…..

Views: 53

Tags: Chistmas, memories

Comment by rick phillips on December 25, 2013 at 11:46am

Judith, you know one of my fondest memories is of Christmas eve when my parents woudl allow me to have one present to open each year. We did nto attend church or anything like that. But the present was special. Each chritmas eve mom woudl tell this story.

When she was a girl her family had nothing. They lived in public housing and my grandfather was in the sanitarium because he had TB. In variably people from a placed Goodfellows would take pity on my moms family and they would bring food, usually enough for a Christmas dinner and maybe a little more. Usually they woudl bring a toy as well. Knowing there woudl be no presents on Christmas morning, they allowed the children (6 of them) to have the toy the night before. That cut down on the nervousness in the house on Christmas night. They woudl awaken to oranges and an apple in their sock, and that was what Christmas morning would bring.

My mother maintained the tradition of one present on Christmas eve to remind me in particular of where i had come from. Mom and dad had good jobs but mom never let me forget, this is where you came from. It remains special to me until this very day. I tell the little grand children this is where we came from and we could lose this at any minute. what separates us from where started is a very thin line. it is still something i treasure today. I always remember that despite being called doctor, I am really a product of that public housing unit.

it is a after all a very thin line that separates us.

Comment by Judith in Portland on December 26, 2013 at 9:11pm

Well said, Rick. My Mom was raised by a single Mom when there was no such term. Gramma became the first female public stenographer in the Twin Cities, doing a lot of transcribing of lawyerly stuff. Mom, born and raised in the depression and then married during WWII rationing, made sure we were taught to never take for granted what we had. Thanks for sharing your story!.....Blessings,as ever, Judith

Comment by Trudy on December 27, 2013 at 12:17pm

Hi Judith. "She had a drawer, A magic drawer..."; I like that. My mother loved Christmas. The day after Christmas, each year, she would start buying paper, ribbon, whatever she liked, for the next year's holiday. She kept adding to it all year, so she had a magic shelf in her crowded closet. The shelves in it were crowded with such as photos, special books, and so on. My mother was a school teacher, so much of what she kept wound up being some kind of display for her kids. Well, thanks for the memory!


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