There is a 7-year-old and a 4-year-old in our home, so needless to say our Christmas tree was assembled quite early this year.
My son and daughter’s eager little fingers plucked ornaments out of the box one after another. Then I spotted it.
“Wait!” I cried.
The kids froze with wide eyes. I slowly took out the little ornament that was squished between a drummer boy and a rather dilapidated angel. It was a tiny Santa made out of wood, felt, and cotton. There was a hardened glob of glue on his hat where the white pom-pom used to be. A face made out of green marker with uneven eyes and a lopsided smile.
It was my all-time favourite Christmas ornament!
I made that ornament when I was in kindergarten. Ms. Loveland’s class. The little Santa was for sale at the school Christmas bazaar that year and my mom and I made sure we bought the right one out of the herd of similar little wooden-felt-hatted-cotton-ball-bearded kin.
That ornament went on our tree every year.
“Why do you like that Santa so much, Momma?”
Hmmm. I could explain to my daughter that the little Santa symbolizes such an innocent time in my life, that it brings back all kinds of memories of Christmases and grandparents and the saintly Ms. Loveland. But I know what answer will suffice in widening their eyes once again.
“I made it,” I told my daughter, “when I was your age.”
Sure enough, I could almost see the gears turning in her head. She was trying to imagine how this Mommy in front of her could have ever been 4 years old.
So welcome to our tree this year, little Santa. When Christmas wraps up I think I’ll keep you in a more special place, instead of tossed in the box with that drummer boy and dishevelled angel.