A Christmas Snowflake Category

“Mom, what do you want for Christmas?”

“Oh me, you know I don’t need a thing. Look around here,” she said as she looked about her Morgan Road home. “I’ve lived here nearly sixty years and this place is just full of stuff.”

“Well, you have to want something.”

“I really enjoy getting things I can use, like car washes, and maybe a little money  to get a new perm. That’s all I need. I have a closet full of clothes – clothes that I don’t even wear. Goodness gracious! I don’t need another what-not! I have a rooster collection, mouse collection, angel collection, rabbit collection, all kind of collections, and a world of souveniers. Lord knows what all I have in this house! I don’t need another thing, Diane!”

“Bah humbug!”

A Christmas Snowflake, made by Emilee Rose Story

A Christmas Snowflake, made by Emilee Rose Story

“No bah humbug me,” laughed Mama as I pressed her for an answer.

“I thought you liked Christmas, what about a real tree this year?”

“I do like Christmas, but my Christmas’ have changed. Your Daddy’s gone. And ever since that last tree, well, I just don’t want another Christmas tree. My little ceramic trees are enough for me. I’m not able to decorate a big tree anymore – nor do I want one decorated for me.” Mama pressed a tissue to her face to wipe her eyes, “Not since that last one. Your brother put up that tree for me, and I was gonna decorate it that weekend when some of the grandkids come over. But, you know that phone call I got.” Mama fanned herself and wiped her eyes again. “Well, I went to the hospital right away. I stayed there three weeks, until he passed. I couldn’t bring myself to leave him. Lord knows it’s hard to see your grandson leave this earth. It just broke my heart, and then to come home a few weeks later and the first thing I saw was that Christmas tree. It was dead – turned completely brown with the needles on the floor. I couldn’t go no further. I sat down in the living-room and cried my eyes out. I never want to see another live tree in my house again. You could fill this house plumb full of the prettiest Christmas trees in the world, and it wouldn’t fill that empty place in my heart.” Mama took a deep breath, “I enjoy going to my young ‘uns homes and seeing y’alls. That’s what I enjoy.”

“It bothers me that you can’t really enjoy Christmas…”

“Oh, but I do,” said Mama as she regained her composure, “I really do. I love Christmas.” I saw a little twinkle start to shine through in Mama’s eyes as she grinned and said, “I do get a special gift every year. It’s always a surprise, and I can hardly wait for it to come, and it does, every year – just like clock-work – just for me.”

“What? From who?”

“Oh, you could say – from Santa Claus.”

“Santa Claus! What in the world are you talking about?”

Mama laughed and said, “I love all the gifts I get from you kids. But that one gift makes me feel like a child waiting for Santa to come. It makes be plumb giddy with anticipation. I can’t help myself.”

“Tell me what it is!”

Mama laughed hard and said, “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”

“Try me.”

“It comes at the same time every year. I enjoy Thanksgiving and then I can hardly wait  two days later for Saturday. I get in my car early that morning, and drive up Morgan Road. I turn to the right onto Chamblee Tucker and right again on Lavista, as I get to the Browning District Courthouse…”

“You’re going in one big circle; why not take the short cut?”

“Because, I want to see it head on – that’s why. And the whole time I driving, I’m praying. Please let me get lucky this year. Please, let it be a snowflake for Mrs. Story.”

“A snowflake?”

“Yes, oh, I enjoy the candle and the little drummer boy, but the snowflake is so special. It’s my favorite.”
“What are you talking about?”

“The Christmas decorations the Tucker Fire Department put up on the telephone poles!”

“Are you kidding me?”
“No, I’m not kidding. It’s wonderful! It’s just for me. Well, not really – but it’s on my street! Just behind my house! I feel like I’ve been a good girl when I get the snowflake,” laughed Mama.

This will be the third Christmas without Mama. She now celebrates her Christmas’ with Daddy and her beloved grandson, Lowry. I think of her often, especially near the holidays. Thanksgiving comes and I display a cake in her glass cake dish. I enjoy the day, but I can hardly wait for Saturday morning to come. I find myself driving an hour to Tucker. I exit 285 and turn left at Chamblee Tucker. I pass Morgan Road, take a right onto Lavista, and go past the Tucker Courthouse – Mama would correct me and say, “It’s the Browning District Courthouse.” Anyway, as I pass the courthouse, I look up and maybe, just maybe I’ll get lucky this year. Maybe I’ll  get a snowflake.