08 December 2017

christmas past

it's a few weeks yet 'til christmas, but we are putting up the tree tonight. this is unplanned, but the tree is in the yard, up against the house, and why not now? the not-so-little girl is anxious to decorate, so in comes the tree, we find the stand and the box of ornaments and she begins. she remembers from year to year how she and i like this tree to look: the old red flocked birds are indeed "flocked", all gathered together on one the side of the tree. her great-great grandmother's sequined ball is high up near the top, so you can look up and see all the sparkles reflect the tree lights. delicate ornaments still go near the top of the tree, a reminder of long-ago christmases when we had babies and dogs. 

we listen to christmas music as she decorates and i make us supper. suddenly, she's in the kitchen at my side, with one of the old plastic filagree balls in her hand. there's something inside, she says. listen. and i hear the quiet rattle. we investigate, and find something tiny and cylindrical inside. she shakes and tips and tries to bring the object to a large hole in the ornament, but it's shape won't allow it to be pulled through. finally we resort to tweezers and gently tug. and out it comes. 

it's paper, and it's old and thin. slowly, carefully, the not-so-little girl unfurls the scrap and reads its contents: december 24, 1985. and it is signed, in a childlike scrawl, by her mother.

how can this be? it's been right there, unnoticed, for thirty-two christmases! we can't wait to share our find with the girl herself! but she does not remember placing such a note and is as astonished as we are. more quick math and we come to the realization that, when she hid this note, she was ten, and exactly the age that the not-so-little-girl is now.

on her own, the youngest of us decides to return the note to its original hiding place and add a second one, this one dated december 8, 2017, and signed in her own childlike hand. she hopes some christmas as she decorates, her own daughter may notice the tiny rolled notes hidden deep inside her great-grandmother's gold filagree ornament, and be just as surprised and delighted by their discovery as we all were this christmas.

2 comments:

Linda said...

That’s is precious, a true Merry Christmas Moment.

Kristin said...

Tears of joy! Thank you for sharing such a wonderful story!