This is a time of joy, of pleasure in anticipation. The lights and sparkle, the fragrances and food. The snow and presents. This is a childhood Christmas.
December is the longest month in my impatient child mind. The days of Advent. Count them off–one, two, three…days of diligently working on the embroidered pillow cases for Aunt Jo, the making of paper chains and snowflakes, of sponge painting plain tissue to use as gift wrap, of helping Mom bake cookies and fruitcake.
There are trips into town to view the decorated windows, visits to toy land and Santa. It doesn't matter that department store Santas are seldom plump and rolly-polly, but often thin and angular. We know they are stand-ins for the real Santa who is busy working in the North Pole. This is a time to accept, to believe and hope, a time to wish, to ignore the news of the dead and dying, of battles won and lost in Europe and in the Pacific, a time to not speak of Uncle Jim fighting somewhere in Italy, a time not to complain about shortages, about Dad working late, about Mom working the swing shift from four to eleven p.m.
I forget and put myself
at the beginning