Probably no one will have time to read this, as it’s Christmas time, so if it is full of spelling mistakes you won’t see them. I have written this article, so will send it to the paper just in case you need something to help you recover from all the excitement of this lovely season.
I am half way between laughter and tears when I recall some of the Christmasses I have known — survived might be a better word. Shouts of joy amidst the flying wrapping paper … tears shed behind a locked bathroom door … dear ones no longer with us but recalled with tenderness, longing and love.
One year when I had a good, well-paying job I gave Jim (my husband) a huge box wrapped in holiday paper. He lifted it with a puzzled look, and said, “Why is this enormous box so light? I’ll bet there is nothing in it.”
“Yes, dear, there is. Open it and you’ll see.”
Inside that box was another, smaller, but also gift wrapped box.
Inside that one was yet another wrapped box. The excitement built as he opened one box after another, each smaller than the one before. Finally he opened the last box which contained only an envelope, but when he opened it, in it lay an airline ticket to England.
He grew up there. For a moment he looked stunned, silent. Then there was a whoop of joy and a caper around the room as he realized he was on his way in the merry month of May.
Never again could I come up with anything so grand, and besides, right then I had a turkey to stuff and to put in the oven, and besides, I had to wipe my eyes and blow my nose.
Helen Lang has been the Peninsula News Review’s garden columnist for more than 30 years.