Holding the handmade ornaments from my daughter, with their crayon colorings, brilliantly arranged as a little girl of five to say Santa was arriving, made me nostalgic for those beautiful days of handcrafted gifts with special bows made by her small hands. On the tree, two reindeer; bringing to mind the day we saw them and her insistence that we buy both ‘Bambi and his mom’, as she called them. Then the little stockings we made with a glue gun, putting the bows in the wrong place. However, it created a memory of beautiful time spent together. At the top of the tree, an angel – bought with a brown dress with small beige flowers, but with time, one hand became broken. It, too, was glued together to keep her for as many holidays as possible. Then there are those special bulbs bought for Mother and Daughter’s first Christmas – 18 years
ago, wrapped in tissue to keep them preserved year after year.
As I opened a bag, I found leftover wrapping paper and bows from the previous year, folded for use once again. Then those wonderful noise-making stuffed animals that brought laughter to my daughter as a child. Those will never part the collection. I placed the array of goofy characters in a corner, almost like a corner of time passed, to cherish and not to lose. There were so many beautiful memories of so many smiles as we passed cookies and sat together as a family, staring at the Christmas tree lights. The joy of decorating once again made me feel my life had such purpose, such direction – to be a mother during the holidays again. On my notepad, I began writing a list of cookies, cakes and desserts to bake. Each one made year after year – brownies, cheesecake, muffins, chocolate chip cookies and this year, gingerbread cookies.
It was late at night before I fell asleep. As I was about to head to bed, from the corner of my eye I caught an image of years past, and my heart began to experience what only mothers who are watching their daughters become young women experience – one day, this will be what she has. When I have passed and time has gone, she will have these things to cherish; not the things as objects, but the memories of them as they linger through the lights, the decorations and the cookie smells. She will have her mother.
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