A Priceless Christmas Gift
Faded tinsel from an ancient box too long in the attic,
Delicate glass ornaments; most of them intact,
One screw missing from the old tree stand,
Red paint worn off most of the lights,
The fragrant scent of the fir tree
Permeates the warm air in the little house.
She’s tired, but there’s a glint in her soft blue eyes.
With a heavy heart, she picks up
A paper snowflake, “To Mother With Love”
In uneven letters printed on the back.
Memories tug at her heartstrings.
They’re grown now; families of their own,
Life in the city drew them away from her
So very long ago it seems.
She watches snowflakes dancing outside the window,
As the fireplace crackles softly
A faint hint of wood smoke in the room,
Loneliness threatens to overwhelm her.
But squaring her shoulders, she presses play
On the old worn cassette player,
And Bing Crosby croons in the quiet room.
Smiling, she gently nudges her sweetheart,
He kind of looks like Santa, with his white hair and beard.
“Come on, Love, its Christmas Eve.”
He slowly rises from his rocking chair,
The years have not been kind to his aching joints.
But he knows this night is special to her, it always was.
Together, they decorate the four-foot tree.
It’s not much, but it’s all they need.
Each decoration has captured a memory.
At last they step back in admiration,
Their mission accomplished.
The little tree sparkles in the warm glow
Of the cosy brick fireplace,
His arm around her waist,
He gently pulls her to his side.
She leans into him and the world is right.
“Merry Christmas, my love, it’s the best tree ever.”
Smiling, she kisses his cheek.
He’s said those exact words for sixty years now.
She fixes them some warm eggnog,
While he puts another stick of wood in the fireplace,
They meet in the middle of the sofa,
He pulls a soft red afghan over their knees,
Soon they are wrapped in warm memories,
Of Christmases past,
They count their blessings,
Silently exchanging a precious gift –
Another Christmas together.
© Annabel Sheila, Moncton NB