It’s not even Thanksgiving yet, and I am already prowling around the house looking for the Christmas magazines that I save year after year, and our old holiday movies - anything to rekindle that spark of holiday cheer that seems just below my radar screen at this time of year.
There was a period of time, in our family life, when Christmas seemed to loose it’s spark of cheer. The boys were all grown and away from home. None of them were married yet so there were no grandchildren on the scene.
Hiding deep inside of me there is a memory of the holiday that changed all of that. It was the nearest thing to a perfect holiday, that I have ever experienced, and it happened 13 years ago this month, just before Christmas 1996.
My first grandchild was three weeks old. She was the most precious thing I had ever seen. Okay, so I am a doting grandmother. I admit it. But if you are a grandmother, or a great grandmother (or grandfather) I bet you are one also!
That specific day began with our grown children coming home to make the first Christmas cookies of the season and to help decorate our Christmas tree. That was all the planning I had done for the day. The rest of that day, and the moment of magic, was not something I can take credit for in any way.
As two were in the kitchen baking cookies and one was helping decorate the tree I sat down to hold my tiny granddaughter and get another good look at her. As I sat there in the midst of the pre-Christmas activity happening all around me – the magic began - it started to snow.
You have to understand that I am not a native Oklahoman. I was born in Seattle – in a convergent zone that dumped snow on us every year as I was growing up. So I came to expect that as part of the holiday season. And one other thing you need to know is that I have never had my fill of snow. Except maybe during the blizzard that we just drove through on October 25 from Rapid City, South Dakota - all the way to southern Colorado.
Snow has always been my favorite weather and so there I was, just before Christmas 1996, in a perfect pre-holiday scenario. All of the kids home, and all the Christmas cheer happening around me, and holding my little granddaughter who was about to experience her very first Christmas. Then the snow started falling and that is when the little girl, still inside of me, seemed to experience a Christmas rebirth in my heart.
I think I will go pop Jimmy Stewart’s It’s A Wonderful Life into the DVD player.