Believe- A True Christmas Short story (part two)

To start at the beginning read Believe- A True Christmas short story ( part one)
Christmas in my family was definitely full of traditions. On Christmas Eve, we would all gather for a formal dinner. Every year it was something different. Mom would try her hand at cooking Cornish game hen, goose, ham, turkey, and my favorite, roast beef. We would start decorating the table the day before Christmas Eve. Two glasses of crystal at each place setting, one for water, the other wine. The silver would be polished until I could see my face warped in the knife blades and fork tines. Each year we would take out a different set of china and place it on the table. Each serving bowl and platter had a note taped in the center with the name of the food that would be placed inside. We gathered different flowers, twigs and leaves from the yard and would create a beautiful centerpiece for the table with long tapered candles on either side. The table would be ready well before the food was even cooked, anticipating the evening and the moment we would light the candles, signifying the beginning of the meal.
When I was eighteen years old I came home for my first winter break from college. I’d had a tough time settling into school and getting through my first set of finals. It didn’t feel like Christmas. When I walked through the front door I got my first whiff of pine. Just like when I was little, I took a deep breath and felt Christmas ease into my blood. I dropped my bags and walked straight down the hall to the tree. The light was coming in through the windows. The golden garland was twinkling with red, blue, green and white. I walked into the room and touched a little brown plastic nativity ornament that I had made in nursery school. It’s roof barely shimmered with long rubbed off glitter. One of my favorites. I noticed a large, flat styrofoam bear, it’s edges trimmed in what looked like blue frosting. A small bite was taken out of it years ago by a younger cousin who thought it was a cookie. A small smile started at the corners of my mouth. My brother and sisters ornaments were also on the tree, even though neither would be home for Christmas. I felt something wet against my hand. A small head pressed against my knee. My dog Pate’, welcoming me home. I knelt and gave him a hug and scratch. Received a few slobby kisses in return.
I stood up, yelled mom’s name and noticed the table. I walked up three stairs to the dining room and looked at the table. There were three places set with two glasses of crystal at each one. I picked up a serving spoon. My enlarged nose looked back at me from the bowl of the spoon. I leaned over and fingered a rose in the arrangement set in the center of the table. The China this year was an old pattern of my great grandmother’s that my mother particularly loved. I smelled a roast cooking. As my mother walked into the dining room the phone rang. She stopped long enough to give me a hug before she picked up the phone. I wandered back into the living room and sat on the couch and breathed in the tree.
To be continued…

6 thoughts on “Believe- A True Christmas Short story (part two)

  1. Pingback: Believe – A True Christmas Short Story (part 3) – A Chick Who Reads

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