I Really Miss My Dad At Christmas

Mamacita say: I really miss my dad at Christmas. I miss how he would lie on the floor under the tree just looking at its beauty and wonder. I miss how he would pick up and shake every package and guess what it was, and he was usually right. I miss how he would pretend to be so surprised when he opened a present from little-children-us, which added to the excitement of Christmas. I miss how he took the tree out in the back yard and hammered together a huge wooden stand that wouldn’t let the tree fall over if a child happened to pull at an ornament. There is a role of wrapping paper I still have that I wrapped his gift in, that last Christmas. I will never part with it. I miss how he would read “A Christmas Carol” to us and explain all the customs and traditions and some of the big words to us – Dad was a wonderful reader. Thanks to Dad, I’ve known what a doornail was since before kindergarten, and how if Marley was dead as a doornail, boy howdy he was really dead. I still remember every single poem, song, and explanation he made. Whenever I read or hear a poem by Robert Frost, I think of my dad, and his voice explaining whose woods those were and why the man stopped there. I miss the sound of his hushed voice on Christmas Eve, late at night, as he examined the toys from Santa that he and Mom were placing around the tree for the two younger siblings after we had all gone to bed. Dad was a man who loved Christmas. Which is partly why I love Christmas. It brings my father back to me, just for a little while. I can close my eyes and see him there, by the glowing tree, like a child himself, loving it all. I really miss my dad at Christmas.

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