On the Ninth Day...


Making Christmas last!!!



Welcome to the #12DaysofTwitter blog series! Have you seen some of your writer friends sporting funny Christmas-y names? Well, what began as a simple name change from one twitter writer snowballed, and is now a chance for twenty-four awesome writers to share memories and stories of what Christmas means to us. Click this link for the complete link list of all twelve days.

Today's writers are Carey Torgesen and Alana Chapman. Both are lovely, talented, and have some fond memories to share with us today.

Nine Torgs a-Twinkling

Waiting for Santa

Growing up in Southern California, most people didn't understand the concept of a White Christmas. I, however, was lucky enough to know how glorious it was. We had a mountain cabin up in Lake Arrowhead--a small lake at the top of the San Bernardino Mountains--which we would travel to every year for Christmas. It was a long journey (for a six year old) but once we got there, it was great. It was a large, two story cabin in the middle of a forest, tucked neatly into the tall evergreens. And during the winter, there was always snow.

Our Christmas Eve had it's traditions. We'd build the fire, roast some marshmallows, make homemade cookies, write a note to Santa, then get tucked into bed. My brother and I would sleep in the same room and talk before going to bed. We'd imagine what we would find under the tree and reflect on our naughty and nice actions that year. Eventually, we'd fall asleep.

Except the year he talked me in to trying to stay up all night to see Santa in the act! Darren was always a rule breaker. I thought he was so brave and smart. He was my hero. So, naturally, I thought this was a brilliant idea.

We waited until the talking upstairs ceased and all lights were turned off save for the Christmas tree lights and the glow from the fireplace, the last embers burning into the night. Then quietly, we crept halfway up the stairs to wait. With my brother, Darren, on one stair, and me on the one below, we whispered about how surprised Santa would be when we caught him red gloved. With every random jingle, we would half wake up, peer through the railing in hopes to see him. We never did.

My mom found us the next morning, asleep on the stairs. We'd never seen Santa. But the tell tale signs he'd visited were there. His note, scrawled in messy handwriting, the half eaten cookies with appropriate number of crumbs, and the mounds of presents and filled stocking told us he'd come. And how could we be disappointed? Though we knew we'd failed our devious mission, we still delighted in the spoils of Santa's generosity.

It was one of the last Christmas' with Darren before he died. It's one I will cherish as long as I live; a true Christmas gift.


***

Nine Alanas Sleighing

I grew up in one of those small towns that you have to get really far away from to truly appreciate. As an adult I know now how fortunate I was to be raised in such a place on the verge of catching up to the rest of the world, but just old fashioned enough for my childhood Christmas memories to be something I cling to and will treasure for the rest of my life.

Going into the woods with my dad and choosing the Christmas tree he would cut for our family, always having a house full of glass-clinkers and belly-laughers, cutting paper garlands with my mother and licking the bowl after my grandmother mixed her cookie dough are all things I remember fondly. But my favorite Christmas memory is a little something called ‘Mummering’.

Men and women would dress in each other’s clothes, homemade costumes, or whatever they could find and they would go Mummering. During the time surrounding Christmas and New Years the mummers would come knocking on your door, you’d let them in and they would sing and dance, some of them even brought an accordion to play. Once the jig dancing and clapping subsided it would be time for my favorite part; guessing who was dressed beneath all those layers. It was like Halloween only better! The laughing and dancing, the music and the stomping feet, to this day swirl around in my mind. It feels like I got to be a part of something magical before it changed and eventually disappeared. Some things should never change, but I’m thankful I got to be around for this silly yet wonderful tradition.

Luckily the magic of YouTube allows me to share the official Mummer’s Song and music video with you!


***

These memories are really getting to me, guys. The fun, the sweetness, the love of family and friends... I'm so glad we can still feel the Christmas spirit going into the new year!

-DC

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