As an only child, I had to create pre-Christmas excitement by myself and for myself. The year I was nine, I began “producing” an annual Christmas pageant. I put together a number of poems and readings from the Bible and other books in the house, and there were carols with me accompanying on the piano. Of course I was also the MC, and for this I wore a blue sequined evening gown my mother had worn for Masonic galas before I was born. My long-suffering parents and aunt and uncle were both participants and audience with my dolls and Teddy filling up other seats.
I was probably 11 when I decided I needed a bigger audience so I invited my across- the -street neighbors. They were in their mid 80’s and hardly ever went out, but I wrote up and delivered invitations, and the evening of the event, my father went across the street and escorted them over to our house. I think they were nearly as excited as I was. In addition to the usual readings and songs, I had made up paper and pencil games with prizes. Mrs. Holibaugh brought quince tarts, filled with jelly made from the quince tree in their backyard. My mother added brownies and butter cookies.
There had to be decorations, and I was always coming up with bright ideas, some of which worked better than others. That year I took pipe cleaners and formed them into the letters “Merry Christmas,” striping each letter with red nail polish. I then used egg white as the glue to stick the letters to the mirror above our dining room buffet. It looked very elegant, but when it came time to remove the letters, somehow the egg white had eaten through the glass and my mother had to have the mirror re-silvered.
This year has been very different with just candles, some greens, a poinsettia, and Christmas cards but I have many wonderful memories of holidays past to entertain me. So… in the words of Clement Moore, “Happy (sic) Christmas to all and to all a good night.”
Dorothy C. Judd © 2015
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