Once Upon a Time…

when I still believed in magic.

It is Christmas time at my house or should I say apartment? I am very young probably between four and six years old. I am still too young to understand the nuances that come with reality and make believe. I am more than content to take “make believe” at face value and buy it all; hook, line and sinker as Gospel truth. I mean what four or five year old wouldn’t? Santa wouldn’t stand a chance without plausible deniability.

As December ticks off its days my imagination soars. If we have no fireplace how is Santa supposed to get in? Will he bring my “Kenner Give-A-Show Projector” and my baby dolls and popcorn balls? I try to be a good girl and do as I am told. At night my mother plugs in our tree, as I wait for sleep to close my weary eyes I watch the ceiling and the patterns the blinking lights make with the tree. I am happy; my tiny heart filled with joy. I am safe and loved and well cared for. My faith in the intangible magic of Christmas unshakeable.

Sometimes at night if I am restless my mother comes in and warns me that the footsteps I hear faintly above my head belong to one of Santa’s helpers sent to spy on little children. I gasp and try with my grandest of effort to be still. I am too young to see my mother’s mental illness or to know my dad works long hours and odd jobs just to put food on the table. As I look into my mother’s face I see her beauty, her eyes filled with love for us. I see my dad handsome and strong. They are everything to me and my sisters. I still don’t know how Santa got in but he always did. I got all of things I ever wanted. Clothes, boots underwear, art supplies, LPs, cameras, watches, basketballs, dolls, games, oranges, sweets, popcorn balls, silver half dollars, PJs, sleeping bags…

We had many Christmases together as a family. Some were over the top grand, others not so much. We had aunts, uncles and family friends, they were more like family than friends, who chipped in and helped my parents to make Christmas magical. As a child I never saw that part of the people in my life, I just believed everything would be OK. I was even fortunate enough to have a godmother( a fairy godmother; well, to me anyway ). Every Christmas she would bring a special gift just for me.

This is for my parents June and Roger and to everyone I could think to add : Terry, John, Veda, Fran, Charlie, Meredith, Maryann and Roni, Dolly, Mary, Edgar, Cecile, Nap, Bobby, Monica, Sophie Smith, Cleo…

I wrote this to say thank you to all of the people in my life for always being there for me even when I didn’t see.
Thanks for all the magic you enriched my life with. Love is the greatest gift.

Happiest of Holidays

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