Thursday, December 23, 2010

Sounds Like Christmas

Jack, (age: almost-3) on Christmas, 2004
Today we pack up the car and make the six-hour drive home for Christmas. It's been at least 10 years since I spent Christmas "at home", and by home I mean Little Rock, the town where I grew up and first began laying down words to paper.
   Since Jack was born, we've woken up on Christmas morning in our own house, but things being as they are this year, I thought it high time to reroute Santa and spend the holiday where it all started, so to speak. This is the year to create new traditions—or revisit old ones.
   And yes, this Christmas will be full of bittersweet memories—and I'm more of a semi-sweet gal. The house I grew up in is gone now, and my parents are no longer with us, but the Christmas' we shared still provide comfort and joy. How could I ever forget the site of Dad monkeying around beneath the freshly-cut-from-our-woods cedar tree, trying to get it to stand straight despite the fact the tree's trunk was severely osteoporic (and yes, I just coined that word.) And, of course, I cannot say the word Christmas without conjuring up the perfect, crispy sweetness of my Mom's fabulous sugar cookies.
   Four years ago, when it become painfully clear that my mother had succumbed to dementia, I wrote this essay for our local NPR station, WBHM. So today, I'm sharing this story via audio file as my Christmas card to you—and no, you will not be receiving a paper card in the mail this year, please get over it.  My Mother's Cookies, From Tapestry, WBHM December, 2006
   Safe travels to everyone who is going home for the holidays this week, and all the best to you who are already there.

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