This is the first in a little series of mini-memoirs I am writing this Christmas about some of the memorable Christmases in my life. Some will be nostalgic, some joyful, some sad. But hey, that's Christmas. I will be experimenting with how I write and what point of view I take and fictionalizing some details that I can't remember. Feel free to skip this little writer's workshop thing I'm doing and join me back for regularly scheduled navel-gazing in January if you like. For the rest of you, here we go.
I love Christmas Eve. Mom, Dad, and Uncle John are drinking fizzy red stuff and when they let me and my sissy have a sip it makes my tummy feel all warm and my face all glowy. I get giggly after just one sip because that's how people do it on the TV and it makes everyone laugh.
I got to open exactly one present tonight and I chose the one from my uncle John because he always buys me the best presents, sometimes even better than Santa Claus. He's my dad's uncle and he flies in to visit us every year on a big TWA airplane. Sometimes I get to go with my dad to pick him up from the airport and I get to see the airplane and the big arm that goes to the airplane door that people walk through. I love that part.
I think my uncle might be rich because he always buys presents for my family even when it's not Christmas, but Mom says he's not rich, he just doesn't have family of his own besides us. Mom says he was like a Dad to my dad when he was a little boy, and so he's kind of like a Papaw to me.
This year John got me a stuffed mouse with a radio inside it so I can snuggle with it and listen to the radio all at the same time. I already love her and I'm naming her Mouse-a-fee Mouseriddle and Dad found a station on her that will play Christmas songs all night while I'm sleeping. Someday I am going to have her marry my favorite stuffed animal, Mousie, and they can be a mommy and daddy to my sister's hamster, Macy.
I am getting sleepy now but I don't want to sleep yet because I can see Rudolph's nose. My sissy says it's just the radio tower at the police station, and she says it's there every night, but I know that tonight it's really Rudolph's red nose and Santa is on the way to my house. My sissy is a lot older than me and she thinks she knows everything but she doesn't. It bothers me sometimes but she's my favorite person in the whole wide world so I can't stay mad at her even when I try to. She lets me hold Macy sometimes and we look at her poster of Kyle Macy the basketball player and talk about how she's going to marry him someday.
I do hope that red light is Santa's sled because if Santa thinks I was good enough this year, he's going to bring me a doll house. I hope I've been good enough. Sometimes I get in trouble for not listening but my mom and my teacher tell me I am a good kid and I try my hardest to be good. I hope so because I love my new mouse radio but I know I'll love a doll house, too.
It's quiet now and Dad picks me and Mouse-a-fee up and carries us to bed. I can smell the red fizzy stuff and cigarettes but I don't mind. I can hear my most favorite Christmas song, "Silent Night", and from my bed I can still see Rudolph's nose through the window. The covers are warm and soft and so is my mom when she leans over me to tell me goodnight. I close my eyes and hear the TV in the living room and Macy running on his wheel and know that when morning comes, Christmas will be here.
And hopefully my new doll house will be, too.