“I Don’t Know Why I Remember…” is the first exercise from Alice LaPlante’s “the making of a story,” a book I recommend highly. The point of the exercise is discovery of material “that remains ‘hot’ for you in some important emotional way.” I have four of these from my archives that I’ll be posting soon. But, in the spirit of Christmas, I decided to write a new one. Here goes.
I don’t know why I remember peeking downstairs that year on Christmas Eve. It cost me dearly (or so I thought at the time). The living room was brightly lit, just pouring festive up the stairs. The adults were enjoying the holiday merry while we kids were all nestled in our beds. Yeah, right. Sleep was impossible. I lay there trying to will myself to sleep until the idea that morning would never come pushed me out of my bed and down the hall for a peek at the head of the stair. What was all this noise? What am I missing?
Of course they caught me and told me to get back into my bed, that Santa had already taken one of my toys back for being naughty. No way was I risking the loss of another toy, so my angelic self set a world record hustling back to my bed where I lay wondering which toy Santa took back but sleep came. Morning came. Christmas was here.
I always wondered which toy went back into the sleigh. Did Santa give my toy to some other more deserving kid? I carried this burden until I discovered the truth about Santa, when part of the magic of Christmas disappeared forever.
Christmas magic is a special kind of magic kept alive by the children. There are other forms of ‘kid magic,’ but Christmas magic is the best.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. The photo above of me could have been taken that Christmas many years ago when magic reigned and I still believed.
Update: I was 3 years old when this photo was taken which dates it to Christmas, 1947. That’s 67 years ago!