Just in case you missed it on the early-morning air –this little story was written for a local CBC Radio contest about Christmas traditions. Mine aren't pretty, but I'll do anything to win a food basket.
My father left us at Christmastime, succumbing to middle-age crazy and
a gold-digging secretary who was apparently ‘way more festive’ than my mother, my brother, and me.
It goes without saying, that subsequent Christmases at our house were more Grinch than Whoville. More rum than egg nog.
So years later, when Dr. Art Patterson told me I was not only pregnant, broke, and alone – but due on Christmas Day – I knew this was nothing short of a miracle.
My son Jack arrived early – on December 20th – apparently a 'bad hockey birthday' according to a doctor friend. I had no idea what he was talking about, but I knew our Christmases – beginning with the first –would be happy.
I think it was Jack’s fourth Christmas when I noticed tears rolling down his cheeks on to his new Thomas the Tank engine. Horrified to see anything but joy on Christmas morning, I asked him what could possibly be wrong, and he sobbed, “Santa didn’t bring YOU anything.”
He was right. I was a single Mom, and while I had a stocking full of stuffers, Santa hadn’t placed any surprises for “Mommy” under our tree.
My son is 6’ 8” now, and well past the due date on believing – yet he still believes. Our traditions include, a stiff egg nog bracer (for me) before wrestling with the wobbly tree. Ornaments collected as souvenirs from our travels around the globe. An angel held together with glitter and glue. And his insistence on it being “just us” on Christmas morning.
And ‘just us’ it is. Sitting by the fire, slowly opening gifts in turn.
One for Jack. One for Mommy… from Santa of course.
Little miracles and love. Over, and over, and over.