Christmas Memories

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal

Well, the Christmas tree is up. And decorated. A few of the lights don’t work, but if you squint your eyes a little, you don’t notice it much. It’s one of those trees where the lights are already wrapped around the branches. That’s great, but whoever decided to put the kind of light strands on it where if one bulb is messed up the whole strand goes out needs to be sentenced to two weeks straight of pulling out those little bulbs and trying new ones to see if that’s the bad light. I never did find the bad light, but my thumbnail is ready to fall off. ;o)

Somebody said I should check the fuse, but I haven’t tried that yet. I just turned the tree around so the non-lighted part isn’t exactly in the front. And with all the decorations on, you hardly miss those lights. Hardly. Anyway the tree’s up and that’s the important thing. I said it would be up this weekend and it is. My sisters and I even put up my mom’s tree today. Hers is a short tabletop tree that we just put in a garbage bag and set in the corner of the garage in between Christmases that are definitely coming closer and closer together. I mean when I was a kid, Christmas Eves lasted longer than the whole year between Christmases now.

Christmas Eve was always a fun time for us when we were kids. That’s when we went to my aunt’s house. She spoiled us girls with a whole pile of presents, mostly clothes, but it was still fun to have that stack of brightly wrapped gifts to tear into. We had to eat the delicious supper first and she always had fruit punch spiked with gingerale. She was Christmas for me and the first Christmas after she died was lonely and sad and oh so different. I think that’s true for everybody who’s lost loved ones in the past year. Those empty spots around the Christmas tree are hard and reason for a few tears. But I hope you have good Christmas memories to keep the joy and the echo of their love in your heart.

I have lots of great Christmas memories. How about you? What about a favorite Christmas gift? My very favorite gift, well, I have two. One was a fountain pen and a bottle of blue black ink when I was thirteen or so. I had to have blue black ink. And the second was a desk. Writer-to-be gifts. Actually that desk was replaced by another Christmas gift several years later when my husband bought an old secretarial desk and had it refinished for me. That desk has held my typewriters and then computers while I’ve written a lot of books. The drawers groan when they are opened, but that just makes it all that much better. It has personality. And I still have the first Christmas present desk too.

One of my fun Christmas memories is the year when my daughter, Tarasa, was three or four and when anybody asked her what she wanted for Christmas, she would say “A candy apple.” In those days about the only place you ever saw candy apples for sale was at the county or state fair in the summer time. So no candy apples were to be found in December. I wonder now why I didn’t just put an apple on a stick and dip it in caramel. But I didn’t, and Tarasa was more than happy with the candy apple substitute toys under the tree on Christmas morning. Years later I bought a chocolate covered apple, wrapped it up, and told her sometimes Santa was slow reading his list, but eventually he always came through.

As a Christmas treat for myself, I met Jan Watson, author of Troublesome Creek, Willow Springs, and Torrent Falls, for lunch last Thursday. We talked until the waitress was surely ready to throw us out. We weren’t getting the offer of any more water in our glasses. That’s for sure. But it’s always so much fun comparing notes with a fellow writer that we had a lot to talk about. That’s why you see writers gabbing nonstop to one another at book fairs. After weeks and months locked away in their private space trying to dig words out of their strained brains, writers need to talk. On top of all that Jan is a super person and writer. Her books are very popular and good reads.

That’s what I aim for in my own books. For the stories to be good reads. Hope if you get one to read, you’ll think I’ve been successful. Don’t forget. If you want to enter my book-giveaway drawing, send me an e-mail from my website, I’d love to hear from you, and thanks to everybody who comments here. I’ll enter your names in the drawing too. Just be sure to tune in after the first of the year to see if you won.

I hope you have lots of great Christmas memories and that this month you’ll be adding to your collection by taking time to do some things you enjoy this Christmas season. Talk to you Wednesday.