Monday, December 19, 2016

Word of the Week - 146

From our grandparents one Christmas, my siblings and I each received a Steiff puppet: Jocko, Gaty and Witty.
Word(s) of the Week:  SISTER AND BROTHER

I use the word Christmas rather than holidays for it was Christmas that my family celebrated.  It is our tradition.  It is the past to which I return this time every year.  It is my personal version of the Twilight Zone where I know it will be the mid-1950s, where my sister will be around five or six years old, my brother around eight or nine and I somewhere between 10 and 12.  When our mother isn't looking, we will make compressed balls of the tinsel and toss them at the tree, rather than draping it strand by strand as she  instructed.  When the lights are on, we will lie on the floor with out heads beneath the branches, and let our wishing minds carry us away.

The three of us have spoken as adults of the brief interlude, perhaps only one year or at the most two, when our mother sought the short-cut of what we called the Ready-Pack Christmas stocking.  A dime store standard of scratchy red mesh with a festive, stapled image atop a bag of, well, stuff.  We were used to receiving one of our father's socks with a splendid orange in the toe and a handful of personally selected treasures to open in the middle of the wakeful night.  We fussed terribly about the indignity of it, though the Ready-Pack gave us a lasting tradition:  the Chinese finger trap, ever after one of Santa's constants.
The Chinese finger trap found its way into the Novelty Items Hall of Fame.
They say that the act of recalling an event changes our memory of it.  Physics may one day prove that remembering can alter the event itself.  What I know is that, among all the joys that Christmas continues to bring to my life, the most enduring times, the ones etched most deeply into my heart, my very core, are the ones when Laurie, Mike and I were young together, almost swallowed whole like Jonah by the impossible magic of those days.


Bohemian said...

Oh what a Wonderfully Reminiscent Post you have Shared... I have so many similar Shared Memories of Christmas Past and tho' my Parents always Created our Christmas Stockings with the coveted Fresh Fruit, Nuts and little Treasures... those Vintage Red Mesh Pre-Packaged Stockings used to be something I was entranced with and always wanted one. I don't even recall if my Parents ever broke from Tradition and bought us one actually? Ha ha ha Such is my Memories nowadays, rather vague at times about the details... and so, how much of it HAVE I embellished I Wonder? Winks... Merry Christmas from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

Marylinn Kelly said...

Bohemian - Thank you so much. I think it likely that we would have lusted after the mesh stockings had we not gotten them unexpectedly. We did so love all holiday trappings at the dime stores. Memory? Oh, yes. How strangely selective it is. So precise about some very small matters, completely forgetting larger moments. Since we mostly all make IT up as we go along, I think embellishment is allowed, perhaps expected. Thank you for stopping here, for commenting, for bringing Christmas greetings from the Arizona Desert. Merry Christmas to you, Dawn. xo

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

I recall seeing them in shops but we never did stockings at Christmas. We did the Dec.6 St Nic's dat . We would find a decorated plate by the foot of our bed in the mornig and it would have a bit of choclate wrpped in clourful foil., some real nuts not shelled and one mandarin orange which was the best. Peeling it gave a fragrance that came only with that gift for wevwere to poor to have more than just that. To this day I can assiciateva peeling of a mandarin with tje magic of December and events relate to gifts.
Christmas eve broughtba different magical experience for that is when the tree in the home was lit for the first time each was a fir tree with white candles. And with it came sining of carols in our lanuage and a few home made gifts. After years passed only I could recall our early times together and our excitement. My brother lost those and only recalled later ones after our immigration tomCanada.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Heidrun - Thank you. I so enjoyed your sharing Christmas experiences. As I ate a mandarin orange this week I thought of you, its fragrance, its sweetness, what a delicious icon it was. Magic, yes. I never take such treats for granted and now, I know I never will. How universal the magic among all who celebrate Christmas. Wishing you an especially bountiful New Year. xo