Don’t you think those unexpected, unique events that sometimes occur during Christmas are gifts more memorable than any single gift received? Maybe the memories are more powerful because they’re shared by everyone at the same time.
Like that one Chrisrtmas Eve, the air crisp and cold, the sky crystal clear, snow falling the size of fat cotton balls, sparkling like diamonds on the ground each flake reflecting a different star (or so our ten year old minds thought), the entire family gathered at our house (aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents) when my grandfather who worked for the Grand Trunk Railroad brought a lady home from Canada who had been stranded at the depot, to join us for our Christmas Eve celebration.
The addition of a person we had never seen or met before added an element of excitement to the gathering. We treated her like an honored guest.
Knowing the rules would be more lax in her presence we gave little effort toward restraining our laughter and sense of mirth reveling in the sense of joy we created as our gift to her.
I can still see her sitting in the blue ‘Naugahyde’ chair her head thrown back, mouth wide open laughing along with all of us when uncle Bill lost his balance while bouncing around on a polo stick in the middle of the living room, knocked over a lamp then rolled onto the shade after losing his balance and falling.
That was the same year we discovered several of my cousins gifts went up in smoke when her pajamas and other girly things were gathered together with the gift wrappings thrown into the fireplace and burned.
Everyone was so sympathetic while she cried. My brother and I thought it was hilarious.