Saturday, May 4, 2013

My 5th Christmas

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

She had been in that hospital forever, my little sister, Colette. Polio was a nasty disease, we almost lost her to it. They were going to let her come home, overnight, for Christmas. I couldn’t wait to see my best friend and playmate once again. In my 4 ½ year old mind she’d be the same……. we’d play in our fort of overturned chairs on the dining room floor…. It would be just like it used to be at our house.

I could remember her cries before she even got in the front door. This was my sister, who didn’t cry when she had a broken arm and the doctor picked her up, by her arms. My tough sister was crying. “What’s the matter, Colette?”

“My legs hurt…..” The snuffling slowed a bit when she saw the lights bubbling on the Christmas tree with all the brightly wrapped gifts underneath.

Later that day the doorbell rang and Santa was outside. He came into the living room and pulled a little police car from his bag for me. It was a wind up one with a siren that really worked. Colette got a car too. Dad didn’t care if we were his girls, we “got to” play with cars along with our dolls.

Later, after I figured out that Santa couldn’t come down the chimney without getting burned ,my parents had “fessed up” about that jolly, old elf. Dad also confessed that he had left the cars outside on the porch for Santa to put in his pack before ringing the doorbell.

Colette and I tried to play but her legs must have really been hurting her. She hardly ever cried. There were better and less tearful Christmases in our lives. The ones where we woke up when it was still dark wondering if it was time to go open gifts yet, only to be told, “Girls, it is 4:30 AM, go back to sleep!”

I knew the routine. No, we couldn’t open gifts on Christmas Eve because Santa didn’t come until that night. This led to the continual early morning drama with wiggly kids and exasperated parents each year but that was half the fun, right?

We read a big story book about the birth of Christ. After all, it was His birthday that we were celebrating, wasn’t it?

I remember the one year Mom hid one of my gifts so well that she didn’t find it until after Christmas, then only when I reminded her that she had said she had gotten me something else and had put it in a place where I’d never find it.

I was sure glad the following Christmas when Colette was home again to stay.

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved - use giving proper credit only.

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