Welcome Advent 2010 and happy 5 year anniversary! This event is hosted by Kailana from The Written World and Marg from Adventures of an Intrepid Reader and is a virtual tour of book bloggers sharing the holiday spirit.
I've participated every year so far and I have to say, this year I was wondering what I would even talk about and it was while reading my fellow Advent posters that a memory struck me from out of no where.
It's many, many years ago when I was maybe 7 or 8 years old. The entire family at the time - 6 adults and 4 kids would be at my Grandmother's house in Sault St. Marie in Canada. 9 times out of 10 there was easily 4 feet of snow outside and the tiny 3 bedroom house (with only 1 bathroom - seriously, how did any of us get anything done!) was always cozy and warm with the promise of Santa soon to come.
The memory comes from us 4 kids, 2 girls and 2 younger boys, too excited to sleep, creeping out of our beds and poking or parents to see if 'now' was the time to go see if Santa had come. When one of us kids was finally given the green light, the whole house was roused from what I now understand were very deep sleeps. (Back then, most toys had 'some assembly required' and 4am was early for those parents to get to bed). But us kids, having no concept of what adults were required to do were more than ready to get to the tree!
Now came the next excruciating part of Christmas morning.
Having to wait for those adults.
See, no one was allowed downstairs until everyone was ready to go downstairs. We were instructed to sit on the top step to wait as the adults got ready. Being impatient we swore our parents were dressing for a wedding at the rate they were going but looking back now that one bathroom did cause a bit of a slow down and no one was really getting dressed up or showering.
So there we are at the top of the stairs. Only the stairs weren't straight. There were three steps down to a landing and then the stairs turned right and then straight down. Even though we were told and a few times scolded about staying at the top of the stairs the four of us would sneak down to that landing and lay on our tummies. What the parents probably didn't realize at the time (although they probably did) was that there was a mirror at the bottom of the stairs, and if you angled your head just right you could catch glimpses of what was under the tree!
Presents from Santa were never wrapped so that mirror didn't just hint at what was down there, it gave it all away. But only if you could stay on that landing long enough to get a glimpse before being quickly told to get back to the top step.
And it's that memory that warmed my heart this year. It will be 10 years this February since my Grandmother passed and it's been even more years than that since I have spent a Christmas with those two cousins. But soon, there will be a child coming into our family (my youngest cousin is pregnant!) and it'll be neat to see Christmas from the other side of those stairs.
Thanks for stopping in and Happy Holidays to you all!