This week, we’re looking at our most treasured holiday Memories, and it’s a little different, because instead of a book cover, one of one my very favorite writers gives us a treasured memory! Thanks Rick for sharing something so personal with us. And Jambrea? Love your story! You keep rocking that holiday goodness! I BELIEVE!
Last week’s winner? ChrisÂ !!!
This week my guests will share their answers with us, and you, gentle readers, can giveÂ yourÂ answer to my question in the comment section below. I’ll choose one random person from the comments and reward them with an ebook surprise, it’s that simple!
Tell me what your answer to today’s question would be in the comments, and you could win an e-book!
This weeks question is: What is your favorite Holiday Memory?Â
Â© 2013 by Rick R. Reed
When I look at this picture, it evokes a lotâhappy memories, a sense of loss, a bit of wonder, and gratitude. Thatâs me in the center with the cowboy hat, big ears, and tricycle. To my right is my mom, behind me my dad, and to my left is my sister Susan. Itâs Christmas 1962.
Why does this old photograph induce such a complex mixture of emotion? For one, both of my parents are gone. My dad passed from a heart attack in 1990 and Mom succumbed to cancer in 2007. Seeing them both so young and beautiful only makes me miss them more. The death of a parent leaves in its wake a hole that can never be filled. For the child who survives, the world is never quite the same. So looking at this picture, back through many, many years, fills me with sadness and loss, for the family I once had.
But I donât want to be maudlin. This same picture and same memory is also joyous. Look at our happiness! I am grateful I grew up with this quirky, sometimes dysfunctional unit, grateful I had a mother who showed me, every day, that love and family were the most important treasures we could have.
Thereâs a kind of innocence here, too. It was the early 1960s and big changes were in store for the world and for each of us. It would take a biography-length post to fill you in on those, but itâs enough to say that the picture reminds me of a little boy who could be filled with simple happiness on Christmas morning by a little magic, lots of love, and the promise of future whose joys and sorrows had yet to be revealed.
My gift, to one commenter below (chosen by ZAM) will be a free copy of my Christmas story, âMatches,â published by MLR Press. Itâs my m/m homage to the fairy tale, âThe Little Match Girl.â Hereâs the blurb:
Christmas Eve should be a night filled with magic and love. But for Anderson, down on his luck and homeless in Chicago’s frigid chill, it’s a fight for survival. Whether he’s sleeping on the el, or holed up in an abandoned car, all he really has are his memories to keep him warm-memories of a time when he loved a man named Welk and the world was perfect. When Anderson finds a book of discarded matches on the sidewalk, he pockets them. Later, trying to keep the cold at bay hunkered down in a church entryway, Anderson discovers the matches are the key to bringing his memories of Welk, happiness, and security to life. Within their flames, visions dance-and perhaps a reunion with the man he loved most.
Many moons ago I was at that age when I wasnât sure if I really believed. My brother who is two years younger than me was in the same boat. We were both saying how Santa wasnât real, but we werenât a hundred percent sure of it.
That night we reluctantly went to bedâlike every Christmas because youâre too excited to sleep and all you can think about is opening presents. I had settled down into my bed when what did I hear? A clatterâOn. The. ROOF! Oh my goodness SANTA IS REAL!!! That was all I could think about until I finally fell asleep. My brother and I were both so excited.
Now years later I figured it was just my step-dad on the roof trying to help us believe for one more year. Wellâit was my step-dad, but he was up there because we had a chimney fire and he was trying to put it out before it spread.
So we could have had a very different Christmas that year.
The other memory was from just after PMan was born. I really wasnât feeling the Christmas Spirit. I didnât want to put decorations up and I was even thinking about not setting up the tree. PMan was a baby, he wouldnât know any difference.
One day I came home from work and walked into a wonderfully smelling house with decorations set up. My mom had driven into town and put on a wonderful roast in the crock pot. There was Christmas music playing in the background and I was ready for the season. — AuthorÂ Jambrea Jo Jones (*Editor’s note. ZAM LOVES JAM)
Sunday Brunch Blog - 12/29/13