Oh, how I remember that Christmas Eve!
I spent one CHRISTmas apart from my parents while they were alive. I was lonely, out of sorts, and determined to be as miserable as I could be. I can’t remember why it was not possible to go to Tennessee that year, but we stayed in Texas. My children were disappointed too. We all walked around with long faces and teary eyes. There was no cheer to be found anywhere. My teenage daughter, Jessica Leigh sighed and lamented about her cousins she would miss seeing. My five-year-old son, Richard, cried for Mama and Papa. Of course we all knew how much we were going to miss Mama’s Christmas dinner.
We decorated the house as usual, but there was no magic in the air. Everything looked as dreary as we all felt. Hoping to cheer everyone up, we drove over to Preston Woods Forrest, to see millions of bright Christmas lights. The entire subdivision was decked out in many themes for the season. This was, as a rule, an upbeat time for our family, however this year we failed to get in the spirit with the occasion.
Christmas Eve came and we had our usual country ham and homemade biscuits with hot cocoa dinner. We normally did that the week before Christmas Eve, but this year was different, as we were not leaving Texas to go home. Oh, joy I thought soon this travesty of a Christmas will be over, and things will be back to normal.
When dinner was finished, it was time to open gifts. No one was very enthusiastic about doing so, except Richard. He jumped around the tree and squealed with excitement. “Oh, boy,” he cried out, “We are going to open gifts, and we get to stay at our house and play with our new stuff. We’re staying home, and I love my home and family,” he said with glee. His eyes were wide with anticipation.
Richard’s excitement was contagious. The three of us looked around at each other with tears welling in our eyes, and before we knew it, we were singing Christmas songs, and laughing together. Things became a bit brighter as cheer filled our hearts. We were home! We had everything we needed. It took a five-yea- old child to remind us of why we celebrate Christmas in the first place. It is about expectation and the wonder of Jesus’ birth and the love we have for each other.
CHRISTmas morning we were gathered around the tree; Santa had definitely been there. Smiles replaced long faces and eyes twinkled with magic and the promise of Jesus. We had overcome disappointment and turned what started out to be the worst Christmas into the best CHRISTmas ever!
Nells Wasilewski lives in a small southern town, seventy miles southeast of Nashville, Tennessee. After retiring, she began pursuing her lifelong dream of writing. Her writing has been greatly influenced by her faith in Jesus Christ, personal, experience and nature. She has been writing poems, prose and stories all her life. Nells has recently started writing devotionals. Her work has appeared in Haiku Journal, Barefoot Review, Three Line Poetry, Poetry Quarterly, 50 Haikus, Dual Coast Magazine, High Coupe Journal, Ancient Paths, Tanka Journal, Hedgerow and Penned from the Heart https://nellswasilewski.blogspot.com