My Parents Made Christmas Special

Mamacita says: Both of my parents grew up in near poverty, and I think that’s one reason they were both so determined to make Christmas such a special time for their own children.

Mom used to tell us how she would have given ANYTHING for a bicycle, but it wasn’t possible. Oh, how she wanted a little china tea set, but it wasn’t possible. When she played with the little rich girl down the street, the mother would sometimes give the girls a Twinkie and a little bottle of Coke, and Mom’s eyes would go dreamy with memory as she told us that story. Such a treat.

All of us siblings always had bicycles. My sister and I had a little china tea set. There was a Twinkie in my packed school lunch almost every day. She bought Cokes when it wasn’t a birthday or holiday.

My parents had many stories of sad birthdays and sadder Christmas mornings, but they made sure their own kids had glorious holidays, and took 8mm home movies to remind us how much fun we had and probably took for granted. Neither of my parents had much Christmas guidance growing up, so they created their own Christmas out of their imaginations, movies they’d seen, advertisements from stores, decorations they saw, and things they just wanted, by golly.

I remember Christmas as a time of intense wonder, huge glowing tree, bells in the window, the same stocking every single year (I still have mine) and two ever-young parents watching their children experience the holiday they themselves never got. In this way, they got it, too.

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