Thursday, January 3, 2013

Sleep, Perchance to Dream

A week or so ago while in the car listening to the radio I heard an interesting question. "What is your favorite or best Christmas memory," the DJ's asked. People called in relating tales of puppies, bikes, and Santa sightings. I immediately thought of Christmases when my sons were young. The BB gun Christmas, hanging stockings, reading the Autobiography of Santa, and tree topping, just to name a few. But when I tried to remember something, anything specific from my own childhood I drew a blank. Where did we hang stockings? Did we hang stockings? Where was Christmas dinner? Did we sit on Santa's lap.

Certainly, I remembered things about Christmas. I knew we had one of those shiny aluminum trees with the rotating color wheels down the basement. I remembered photographs with piles and piles of presents. I know we baked cookies, or at least I think we did. But a specific, solid memory? Nothing! All those hours I am sure my parents spent shopping, wrapping, planning, and preparing. And what did I remember? Nothing!

Thinking it was strange that I couldn't think of one memory I started asking others to share one of their Christmas memories. A friend shared a memory of getting a puppy. One Christmas her father brought home a crazy little puppy. I asked my two sons and their girlfriends. One son remembered they year they got a pinball machine. The first "big" down-the-basement surprise present. The other son remembered putting the star/angel on top of the tree.
I didn't feel any better. Other people remembered Christmas stories. Why didn't I? Well, apparently I do have at least one memory. I woke up this morning thinking of a dream I had last night about getting my first pair of earrings. Only it wasn't a dream; it was a memory. In my sleep, while I dreamed, a memory I swore did not exist came to me.

It was 6th grade. We live in a big old house in Lansdowne. I loved that house and my room. My room had the world's best ever closet. Not only was it a walk-in it also had a light and a bench. It was the perfect place to hide  from four younger siblings and a dysfunctional family. I was 12 years old with responsibilities way beyond my years. I wanted to escape, to an aunt living in London, really, to anywhere. That closet was my escape portal in so many ways.

Anyway, see what happens when memories appear? That Christmas I received this pair of 14K gold stud earrings. They had to be 14K gold as a first  pair of earrings. When I opened this box I suddenly felt grown up. I was finally allowed to get my ears pierced. And before high school! A big deal for me back in the day.

Do you have any particular Christmas memories? So sleep, perchance to dream ....

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