Let’s Enjoy Christmas Category

“Hey, what’s that Patricia?” I asked my nine year old sister.

“Fingernail polish, I found it in my stocking. Look, a whole set of different colors. Do you want me to polish your nails?” asked my older sister.

”Yeah, let me look at the colors – wow, pink, lavender, blue and green.” My choice was an easy one, since blue is my favorite color.

Patricia polished my nails pearly blue. When my nails dried, I went back to examining the box of sparklers I found in my stocking.

Daddy came into the living-room with his new Gibson guitar. He sat across from me strumming the strings. He really looked tired. “Tom, why don’t you take a nap, now that all the gifts are opened?” asked Mama.

“No, I’ll stay up a while and play for my girls,” he said as he took a cup of hot coffee from Mama’s hand. He played a few Christmas songs and then I noticed something strange about his face. He turned pale as could be and looked startled. He suddenly put his guitar a way and left the room. Something was wrong.

Moments later, Mama burst into the room. She came straight for me and looked at my hands, “What’s that on your nails?”

“Patricia’s fingernail polish…”

Before I could finish, Mama left the room. She came back quickly with polish remover, and took the polish off my fingers.

“Why? I like it.”

“Because you are sick right now, and blue fingernails make you look even sicker. You scared your father to near death. Now, that looks better. Go into the bedroom and show your nails to your father,” said Mama.

“Really, I can stand up and walk in there?”

“Yes, just this one time. It’ll be okay. Go on now and show him.”

I was a little wobbly, so Mama helped me down the hall to the door of the bedroom.”

“Is he mad at me?” I whispered just before I approached the door.

“No, of course not – just show him your nails. Now go on.”

She left me alone to walk into his bedroom. Daddy was lying across the bed with his head buried in the sheets. I walked around the bed to get to his head. There I spread out my fingers and said, “Daddy, look at my nails.”

“No, I can’t,” he sobbed, “I can’t.”

“Why not? Mama took off the blue polish and told me to show you my hands.”

Daddy slowly lifted his head and looked at my fingers, “Let me see them.” His smile slowly returned to his face, as he took my hands in his for a good long look. “Now that looks good. You don’t need any polish on them. I like them just like they are, pink and healthy.”

“I know – I’m not going to polish them blue again, nor lavender nor green – just pink or clear.”

“Clear’s better. That way I can see what color your nails really are. If they turn bluish, I need to know, so I can take you back to the hospital.”

“But we don’t have any clear polish.”

“As soon as Doc Newsom opens his drugstore, I’ll go get you some.” Daddy stood up, put my arm around his neck and picked me up in his arms. He was all smiles now, “What do you think you’re doing walking around? Just ‘cause it’s Christmas? Huh?” Before I could answer, he said, “Let’s go back into the living room and take a look at that Christmas tree. What’s that I saw you playing with? Sparklers? Surely Santa didn’t bring you sparklers!” Daddy laughed.

“Yes he did! The stocking had Diane on it! It’s mine!”

“Santa must have made a mistake! You can’t play with sparklers.”

“Yes I can!”

Daddy laughed even more, “I want to see everything Santa brought to my four girls.”

“Four girls? But you have three girls!”

“I have you, Pat and Barbara and Mama – that’s four.”

“He carried me down the hall where Mama stood, he winked at her and said, “I’ve rested enough, Helen. Let’s enjoy Christmas.”