A Christmas to Cherish In 1948
A Remembrance Of Christmas
It Is 1948 I was eight years old, waiting for my mom to come home from work. It was Christmas Eve. My name is Mark, I live in a house with my one older brother his name is Johnny he is 10 and my older sister, Arlene she is 12 . My sister Arlene is mostly hard of hearing, actually she is part deaf. She wasn't born this way, when she was 2 she got a high fever and this made her this way. My father's name is also John, he is never around much but when he is, I hide from him. The reason why I hide is because he can become very mean when he drinks and I am scared of him. My mom works allot because our father is an alcoholic and she supports the family by working as a waitress. We don't have much, all we have is each other. My mom never left my Dad because back than most people never got divorced they just stuck it out no matter what. My mom was definitely a saint and she deserves better . She never wanted our family to break up. She just put up with it the best way she knew how to. When my mom has the time she would read to me. We would lie on the couch together and I would look above and I noticed our ceiling paint was chipped in various places. She would tell me that we had a map of the world on our ceiling. I used to think WOW! I am the only kid with a map of the world on my ceiling. It was her way of making it better. We just never had money to fix our home.
Sometimes when my dad comes home I can hear my Mom and Dad fight, most times it is because Dad comes home drunk. He got fired from his last job as a Car Mechanic because he hardly shows up for work, this is why we are poor. It's hard on my mom because she makes little money being a waitress and when she comes home she hides the money she makes because my father will take it and spend it on booze instead of paying bills. Sometimes I wish I never had a Dad but he is the only father I know. My mom tells me that he is sick and that she can't leave him. I tell her if he is sick why doesn't he go to the hospital? She told me that this type of sickness the hospital doesn't know how to cure.
This night was a special night. We didn't have a Christmas tree. I was waiting for my mom to come home from work and she promised me that Santa Claus was coming. Last year Santa Claus never came so this year was going to be special. My father was lying on the couch passed out from drinking too much. My brother Johnny was working as a bus boy at a restaurant and my sister Arlene was up stairs playing. My brother Johnny helps my mom out by giving her the money he makes as a bus boy to help my mom pay the Detroit Edison Electric bill, last month it got shut off and it was so cold. It was off for 3 days until my mom could come up with the money to pay the electric company. Most times at night I pray that God gets us through. It's getting late and my mom isn't home yet. I don't want her to know I am still up or I will get into trouble, so I am waiting on the stairs where no one can really see me. I want to see Santa come because my mom promises he will come this year so I am so excited, so I am waiting quietly. All of a sudden, I heard the door open. I must have fallen asleep on the stairs and I saw my mom come through the front door and she was dragging something big inside. It was a Christmas Tree. She didn't see me on the stairs, I just stayed quiet so she wouldn't see me. She placed the Christmas Tree next to the fireplace and decorated it. After she went back outside and came in with a small bag. Inside the bag were three wrapped presents. I thought to myself why did my mom have three wrapped presents? I saw her place them under the Christmas Tree. It was so beautiful and I saw a big smile on my moms face. I was so happy at that moment. I crawled back upstairs I didn't want her to see me and I went back to bed. I woke up in the morning and my brother and sister were downstairs. I ran down the stairs and there my mom was with a cup of coffee in her hand and she said hurry Mark, come see what Santa Claus has brought us. My sister Arlene was so happy she got a doll. My brother Johnny got a toy car and I opened up mine and I got a toy Red firetruck. I was so happy to see my family happy and especially my mom. I hugged her so tight I didn't want to let go!
My mom gathered us around the tree and told us the story of how Jesus was born in a stable and how Mary and Joseph were poor. She told us of the three wise men and how Jesus received three gifts and that Christmas is about the birth of our savior not about getting gifts and that her blessing was having us three children. When my mom died 45 years later I had learned that she went after work to the Christmas tree lot that very night and the owners were closing, she had asked them if she could have one of the Christmas Trees because they were just going to throw them away in the garbage. She actually dragged the Christmas Tree 2 miles walking home in the cold so us kids would have a Christmas Tree and presents. She was my Santa Claus and I miss her every single day! This was my story and remembrance of Christmas.
Written by Sandy Longman
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