I promised that I'd share one of my favorite Christmas memories...
When I was very young - maybe 4 or 5 - my mother (then a single parent) made these amazing shadow boxes to sell at a local craft festival during the holidays. The festival was very well-known, themed around the Renaissance period during Christmas.
On December 23 of that year, my mom let me come with her to the festival. Actually, I think I came by default - no babysitter is my guess. Regardless, I distinctly remember the different craft booths, the smells of hot chocolate and roasting chestnuts, and the beautiful costumes everyone seemed to wear. My mom and I walked around for a bit before she left me at a child-care center located within the faire. Later that night, a quartet from the Robert Shaw Chorale was singing at the festival. They walked throughout the faire, dressed in historical garb - minstrels singing the most beautiful songs.
After some time past - in my 5-year old mind it seemed like it was the whole night - we made our way back to the child-center, unable to find my mother's booth. Mom was waiting for me. And after she was done chastising me for leaving, she thanked Kate. Before Kate left, I pulled off the bracelet I was wearing - a special charm bracelet given to me by my grandmother. The stone of the charms spelled out the word "dear". Kate tried to refuse the present, but I told her that Christmas was about giving and since she had given me the gift of her voice, I simply had to give her the bracelet. Reluctantly, she took my gift and left.
The next day was Christmas Eve. I remember listening to a recording of the Robert Shaw Chorale over and over again. I just knew I could hear Kate's voice in the chorus, sounding every bit as angelic as she did at the festival.
The next morning, Christmas morning, I raced out of bed to see if Santa had come. Mom joined me and I opened my stocking. Tucked at the bottom of the stocking was a little package completely different from the rest. Carefully, I unwrapped the little gift until it lay in my hand - a mosaic pin with a little note.
I couldn't believe it. How did she manage to get a present into my stocking? Surely she must be an angel.
To this day, I listen carefully anytime Joy to the World by the Robert Shaw Chorale is played, straining to see if I can hear the voice of my angelic Kate.
What special memories do you have about this season?