Oh, the memories that well up when I look at the stocking-memory box created by my sister, Marj. The old stockings were hung with great care, and in birth order, as the 'new' ones still are today. Now the number of stockings hung has grown enormously (indeed the mantle must groan joyously with the load).
Christmas was so exciting. My father would read "The Night Before Christmas" and we would hang our stockings before going to bed. I inevitable got sick during the long nights of anticipation. And the joy on Christmas morning? We woke up to a fantasy! My parents worked through the night to trim the tree and under it was a bounty of presents. Their exhaustion was matched by our enthusiasm.
In my memory box are three pictures with Santa. One of me (looking so sincere) and the jolly elf, another of three of us surrounding him, and a third of my two children with the man of the season. I think the Santa was my father. For years he was Mechanicsburg's Santa, arriving by fire truck, and then sitting and listening to all children's wishes. Do they still do that in town?
Once again I am eagerly looking forward to Christmas with my family, now expanded to include two precious grand daughters, age 2 and 4. Arielle, the big girl, doesn't remember last Christmas and is wondering why Santa brings presents. I am anticipating her joy and discovery as the family traditions unfold. Sugar plums are dancing in my head again.