|Nancy and Cathy R.|
During my childhood all of ourChristmas trees were real. The high school FFA (Future Farmers of America) sold trees at the school, at the local fire house, or at the local grocery store. Many of the trees were pathetic, and my brother would drill holes in the trunk where there were bare spots and attach some bottom branches to improve the appearance. We had "Charlie Brown" trees before the term was even penned by Charles Schultz. My mother hung tinsel on the tree, one icicle at a time. Some years the tree was literally covered with tinsel, applied one bit at a time. The tree sparkled all day in the sunlight and at night from the colorful lights.
We always opened gifts on Christmas morning, but not early like most families. My excitement was hard to contain, but contain it I must because living on a dairy farm meant that the cows had priority. The tempting packages under the tree had to wait until the milking was done, the barn cleaned, and the cows fed. The morning seemed to never end.
Santa knew that I would get anxious, so he left a toy, usually a doll, unwrapped to occupy me. Of all the dolls I received from the jolly elf, the one in the photo was a favorite. I still have the doll and several dresses that Mom made for her. My friend Cathy (in the photo with the bear) lived about a mile away.
Sometimes a smell, a sound, or a situation causes a flicker of a past Christmas. The moments are fleeting, but if I am quick, I can recapture some of the special magic of Christmas Past.