This past September, I paid one of my friends (a professional simplifier), to help me muck out and organize the mess that was in my basement. It took days! When we finished, I had donated over two dozen bags of various sundries to the good will, and thrown half that much in the garbage. It was a liberating feeling. I found some things that were of great sentimental value: my daughter’s childhood ballet shoes, another daughter’s cherished Christmas snow globe, and best of all, lots of Super 8 films, old video tapes, and slides of memories long forgotten.
With Christmas just three months away, and since my favorite gifts are the sentimental kind, I decided to take the tapes and slides to a local camera shop and have them converted to DVDs and CDs.
On Christmas day, we gathered around the Christmas tree and opened our gifts. It was a lot of fun. Christmas always is. Some of the gifts were surprises, others were gifts we might have guessed at or known about, but it was a lot of fun watching the excited faces as gifts were unwrapped.
For the last gift, I handed my husband a large bag. At first my husband and children couldn’t figure out what the present held. Not only was it filled with all the Super 8 films, old video tapes and slide carousels, it contained the newly prepared DVDs and CDs. After my brief explanation, the confusion turned to glee.
My husband slipped “Christmas 1983” into the DVD player. There, in living color were his grandma and grandpa, and his sister who died Christmas 1986. My husband was entranced. He didn’t move. When his sister came into view and started talking, there were tears in his eyes. When his grandparents came on to the screen, tears ran down his cheeks.
Later that morning, my husband’s parents came to visit. We showed the DVD to them. Their reaction was the same.
December 2013 will be the year we all remember feeling the warmth of the robes worn by “Dickens’ Ghost of Christmas Past.” He was and always will be a welcome guest in our home.