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Your Fondest Christmas Memory

posted 12/24/2008 10:43:01 PM |
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My fondest Christmas memory is one of a long, long time ago. We didn't have money - but we never knew that. For you see, you don't miss what you've never had.

It was a particularly bad winter in Eastern Kentucky. The mountains of Appalachia were froze over with ice and snow. We lived beside the railroad tracks in a place that was aptly nicknamed "The Yards".

We were five and six, two little toe headed girls anxiously awaiting Santa Claus. Daddy worked all summer long cutting tobacco - when and if his disability would allow him to. He could never stand for very long and sitting was difficult too. Which is why he drew disability and didn't have a steady job. Mama canned fruit and vegetables from our garden all Summer and all Spring so that we would have enough to do us the Winter at hand. Presents were that of sewn-together sock dolls, rubber band balls, and clothes from the second hand store in town. We strung popcorn and colored pictures for the ornaments on our tree. Mama sewed an Angel out of Calico and let me put it on the top. I remember that Christmas so fondly in my heart; For I knew the angel was not in my hands or on that tree. The angel was the woman who held me up in the air while I adjusted her creation just so.

But what I remember the most of all that year - The very most of all...

As little as we had, there was a very poor black woman with about five children who lived down the hill from us. She had much less than us and no Christmas dinner for her Children. Now keep in mind this is over twenty years ago in the hills of Eastern Kentucky, and there were still some people who had hardened hearts against African American people. Not my mother.

My Mother cooked all day, everything that we had canned, the meager turkey and the canned ham we managed to buy with what was left of our food stamps that month. Then she made the most delicious pineapple upside down cake I had ever tasted... I've never tasted one like that one since. And more presents appeared under our tree... six more to be exact. Five for the lady's kids, and one for the lady. She gave that woman a tea kettle her own mother had given her, just so that woman would have a Christmas gift. And she invited them to share in our bounty, little though it was. And it was the happiest Christmas I ever had, seven kids running through the house singing Christmas carols. Playing Christmas games. There was no black and white or rich or poor. There was an Angel who knew how to cook, and bake, and sew, and revel in the fact that there were people to share it with.

Merry Christmas Mother.
I miss you.

Evelyn Jean Williams
An angel among us no more
Called up to Heavens Door
September 15 1986

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Dec 24 @ 11:37PM  
Yes ..that really is what its all about ...sharing what you have. A friend of mine baked me all sorts of christmas stuff ...bananna bread, cookies, brownies, short bread..much more than I could consume in a month. So separated everthing in even piles and put them in zip tops and shared them with all the folks in the apt. building. What a joy it was to see their faces light up...some of them I had never met...gave me a great feeling to pass it on.

Dec 25 @ 12:28AM  
What a beautiful memory you have shared. Thank you, and bless you and yours. I am sure you are a gracious woman based on the Mother you described. Stay that way,,,how lucky you are! merry Christmas to you honey!

Dec 25 @ 4:41AM  
Memories....gotta lovem!!!!
Thanks for the trip!!
Merry Christmas!!!!

Dec 25 @ 2:22PM  
OMG Tissue alert! That was so beautiful.. twould trivialize for me to write some crap memory here.. let's just enjoy this moment and .. I gotta go call my mom.

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Your Fondest Christmas Memory