Memory of My Favorite Christmas
Think Christmas 1929, the Great Depression, “Black Friday.” Facing my fifth year, my young spirit rejected doom. But in months, my father, bankrupt, died leaving a large family. I was the youngest.
Then suddenly it was Christmas.
Christmases past glowed in my young memory as feasts of light, sound and love. Never, never would it be any different! Oh youth, oh young faith!
No use to tell me of sacrifices, of pennies fondly hoarded for turkey and tree.
On that Christmas morn, my mother handed me my only gift: a pair of black stockings knitted by her red, chapped hands. She turned away to avoid my hurt eyes. I ran crying into the cold, betrayed.
When I returned, chilled, saddened, chaste, she was there in the bleak winter light, sobbing softly. The firelight from the kitchen stove flared up and illumined her tears. I felt a great rush of shame and love and understanding. A miracle? Perhaps.
I ran to her and kissed her face, knowing in that poignant moment the real meaning of Christ’s birthday, secure in the encircling sanctuary of my mother’s arms.
Richard Allison is an “old timer,” having lived in Carson City since 1963. He’s a retired writer.