Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


Christmas Help Wanted

christmas 2007

Image by paparutzi via Flickr

#4 called me tonight.

“Are you in the Christmas Spirit yet?”

“No.” I snorted derisively. “Are you?”

“No.” She sobbed quietly for several moments. “Why don’t we get the spirit anymore?”

Okay, maybe our conversation didn’t go exactly like that. But I had the answer. (Big sisters always have an answer, don’t they? Unless they don’t.)

“Because we stopped believing in Santa and had to be Santa.”

So why don’t we get in the Christmas Spirit? Mama was always the first one to catch it. I remember one year when she bought a picture window sized Nativity Scene, colored it in and painted it with baby oil. It took her hours! Then she hung it in the window, and when the lamp was on behind it, it looked like stained glass.

Other years she created panes in that big piece of glass and made it snow.

She sewed six dresses out of velvet, and often a vest or jacket for Brother Jeffrey. And she did all the Santa shopping, most of it by herself. (In the days before Internet, she worked at it like a job, coming home day after day, long after dark.)

She sang in the church choir, helped with school parties and took Grandmother shopping.

Oh, she made candy, too–fudge, peanut brittle, divinity. (I don’t even know what divinity is.)

So how did Mom get in the Christmas Spirit when my sis and I can’t seem to find it? I’m not real sure. Was it the times? The fact that she didn’t work outside the home? (There truly wasn’t time.) Or was she born blessed with the Christmas Spirit?

I don’t know. But if there’s something you’ve done that helped you get in the Spirit (Carolling? A snowball fight?) would you share it with us?

We need help.