I remember one Christmas in particular; I think I was about 5. That year was the year that my-size Barbie dolls were the “hot toy” of the year. All I wanted for Christmas was a my-size Barbie. It had been a hard year for my parents, mainly because my mom had lost her mother, my grandmother Nana. She had passed away suddenly, and my mom was shell-shocked. I am glad I was too young to notice it, but mom was absent that year thought-wise. Her soul was wrapped up in the sadness of losing her mom, and I am pretty sure my dad didn’t think she would ever come back to the family.
That Christmas, I asked for the Barbie. To my parents’ dismay, the toy sold out in every store just after Thanksgiving. What were they going to do? What could they give their daughter who so very much believed in Santa, and was hoping for a happy Christmas and a doll under the tree on Christmas morning? In my mind, I believed that Santa was infinite and that there was no such thing as sell outs but that the elves could simply make more. Mom shopped around frantically for something to fill the gap. She stumbled into a store just a few days before Christmas, and saw a gorgeous princess ball gown that would fit a five-year old girl.
On Christmas morning, I did not receive the toy that I asked for. I got something so much better. The note from Santa, if I can recall, detailed how sorry he was that he couldn’t bring the doll, but that Nana had helped him pick out the dress that was laid so neatly over my little rocking chair. Mom told me a few days ago that she realized that year that missing Nana and being sad wasn’t going to bring back happy memories of Christmases past. Her sadness from the loss also wasn’t going to allow her to be with Melanie and I and provide us with great memories of our own family holidays. Since that Christmas, we always remember those that we have lost, but we also revel in the beautiful memories we had with them. And the memories I have made with my family, my mom in particular, have meant so much more to me than any gift under the tree.
Believe me, I wore that dress until I could no longer fit in it, and then I put it up in my closet in hopes that one day either me or my sister would have a daughter that we could pass the dress down to and tell the story of how our mom came upon the dress: Nana as a Christmas angel brought Mom to it.
Do you have a miracle moment that you remember this time of year? Leave a comment in the box below. I want to break out the tissues, guys!