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Christmas Reflections

by Patricia Crandall

I recollect our handsome family visiting in the guest parlor of our ancestral Queen Anne home, festively decorated for the holidays with gay, colorful lights.

Festooned from a perfect, pear-shaped Christmas tree, sleepy-eyed children, too tired from their busyness all day, cuddle on laps, clinging to old, tattered, bedtime bears. With nodding heads, they listen to animated adult conversation, content to stare at their new toys put neatly away beneath the
tree. Their heavy-lidded eyes stay open as long as possible only to close at last.

Maiden aunts and bachelor uncles, each bedecked in faded, musty finery, delight in tidbits of Fanny Farmer candies and homemade fruitcake garnished with a liqueur. They sip brandy in etched crystal goblets, taken down on this special day from Grandma's best china shelf. In their raspy old voices,
they retell of Christmases past when in olden days inside this very dwelling, they celebrated the birthday of the Christ Child, born of Mary beneath a glittering star.

It was the same bright star, they believed, that shines in the heavens this Christmas eve. Jesus is the true spirit of Christmas. They make a toast to our family, young and old, deeming Christ and Christmas will reign forever in our hearts.
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