Season's Memories

The first signs of Christmas were the decorations that appeared along the streets in Center City. Those green, red and gold wreathed and ribboned lamp posts that quietly announced the season as they sparkled through falling snow. The tiny square on the front page of the Bulletin counting down the shopping days from Black Friday building more excitement at it shouted that there were only 15, 10, 5 shopping days left till Christmas. Opening the numbered doors on the Advent calender ahead of time because the anticipation was more than I could stand leading to the big pay off at number 25. The whole house came alive with baking for weeks and weeks and weeks. I had to find new ways to sneak in to taste powdered sugar coated bows and honey soaked balls of deep fried dough that I'd savor mouthful after mouthful, crunching multi-colored nonpareils between my teeth. I learned to shake the tray of pizzelles so the jordan almonds tumbled from the pile, so you wouldn't notice I'd eaten so many and get mad. We tossed Tinsel so it hung in long icicle shimmers on the tree that seemed as high as the sky. Trains chugging round and round the small circle on the platform that I'd watch as if something new could happen each time it turned the bend and poked out from behind the tree. Standing in lines holding your hand, waiting four hours to see Santa, only to cry and shrink away from him in fear. Then, afterward, telling everyone I saw, even strangers, that I talked to Santa and how I asked for so many things. Dolls and tea sets turned to bikes and then clothes and grown up wishes. But I would have settled for so many more little things lost through the years. Grown up wishes that santa can't grant. People that are gone. So many regrets. So many things lost. It seems that Christmas miracles only happen in movies now. Maybe that's why this season seems to have lost its aura, its sparkle, its magic for me. Christmas now arrives before even one cookie is baked. The big event holiday sale is passed and I am already behind and missing you. You with your toppling Christmas trees, your perfectly set table, your meticulous bows, your carefully scripted and staged family Christmasses. Or maybe I am just missing you.