Guten Morgan Xangaland!
I want your favorite Holiday Story! Be it Christmas, New Years, Chanukah, or any holiday at all! We’ll call this;
BEST HOLIDAY EVER
Whatever holiday you wish to write about, just make sure it’s a memorable one to you!
Make it long, or make it short, make it REAL! No fiction this time, alright? What made it so wonderful? What was special about your holiday?
This challenge was a particularly difficult one for me. I sifted through long forgotten memories… glimpses of gazing bleary eyed at the dazzling lights of my Grammy Lois’s Christmas tree while the sun still slept on winter mornings… wispy tendrils of long ago Christmases when my Grandfather would put on a full Santa suit to hand out gifts and I was so afraid of the strange man in our midst… hazy days long past, days not remembered well but always remembered with fondness…
Then I sifted through things more recent… memories of my last Christmas at home in Phoenix, my first hosted in my own home. The Christmas that passed with a small edge of sadness after my Grandfather had passed and his Santa Suit was put away for good. The first Christmas Ryan and I spent together full of anticipation and newness… and odor… Never mind!
All of this I took off the shelf and examined. I became desperate as the time passed, to choose one that could be called my very best. Just as I placed them back on the shelf in defeat, I saw one, tucked far back and pushed out of my memory. As I revisited it I realized just how precious it is to me and how desperately I want to remember it. The way I felt and the lessons it brings. The first Christmas Eve after Ryan and I were married.
We were so unbelievably broke that first Christmas… We had no money for gifts and certainly none for a lavish dinner… That night the only gifts under the tree were the ones for our family that would go with us next morning and the only dinner we had was three day old pinto beans…We lived in a small apartment in the worst part of town. We used to joke around about the 6 o’clock gunshots and now looking back on that it’s quite frightening.
We decided to watch Its A Wonderful Life and drink hot apple cider. (Though it was only hot apple juice since we couldn’t afford the spices…) After the dinner was eaten, I began heating the juice and suddenly Ryan jumped up and ran to the tree… He pulled a small package from under it and said with great flourish, “Happy Halfaversary!” I stared at him completely dumbstruck and asked him what he meant! I don’t remember what was in that box but I do remember the look on his face when he explained that December 24th was our sixth month anniversary and therefore our halfaversary. Six years later we still celebrate it… No matter how good or how bad things are there is always some small token that we open Christmas Eve to celebrate the Halfaversary of our marriage
We curled up on the couch and quietly watched the movie and drank our ‘cider’, settling into a quiet spirit of Christmas…In the middle of the movie we started to talk of life and family. Though we were as poor as church mice we decided that night that we didn’t want to wait to have a family… No one knows what the future holds and we didn’t want to wait. We talked about the possibilities until the wee small hours… of the joy of becoming parents, of the thought of having a child that was a part of both of us… of cuddling a baby, of playing catch, or flying kites, or dressing up dolls… We were so excited, so young, so innocent.
For many years now I have pushed this memory aside… aching at the innocent excitement of the young girl and boy who were about to face trials that would almost break them… Aching for the sense of loss I face every Christmas on the anniversary of the beginning of our journey. This Christmas Eve will mark six years of trying to conceive a child, of desperately wanting to become parents and of failing to do so…
Why in heaven’s name did I choose this memory? Because it is a milestone for Ryan and I. A moment that should not be forgotten, a moment that changed us forever. And though I do not yet know how the journey will end for us, I want to always remember how it began… With joy and excitement and hope.