I’ve been thinking a lot about my mother who loved Christmas.
I always feel her over my shoulder whenever buying gifts, since I inherited my holiday leanings from her.
Our house could have been a Hallmark ad the way she decorated. Cards displayed on strips of red ribbon tacked around the mantel and bookcase. Santas everywhere. And the tree was award winning, like move over Rockefeller Center.
But the most amazing thing about her during those few short weeks, was she was happy, even liking my father she loathed the other 11 months of the year.
I remember once sneaking out of bed to admire the tree to find them dancing, waltzing like Fred and Ginger. Yes, highballs were involved, and that included my father’s who so adored my mother, didn’t much matter what she did.
Fluffy the cat was sprawled on the coffee table, where she was normally not allowed, purring happily, all in the company of the tree lights sparkling to the faint sound of Sinatra crooning on the stereo.
This is the scene I choose remembering, not the ones when they were drunk, pitching things at one another like outfielders, on the outs.
I recall a bandaged head and a cracked wrist…broken toes and one too many black eyes, but the only memory that really matters is the truce, they called at Christmas, and how beautiful they were when they danced.