A Xmas Story written for the ‘Your Holiday Mom’ project in support to LGBT youth — 24dec2019

Photo from the early 80s, excitement on a little girl’s face as she discovers Christmas stockings filled to the rim!
Photo by AJ’s dad :)

Oh yay ! You’re here !

I’m so glad you made it in time to see my dad perform the Christmas tradition I so adored when I was little, one I kept believing in even after I found out Santa didn’t exist. He’s doing it for the little ones in the family tonight so that it will hopefully be perpetuated through times and generations ! Because, you know, it’s important to keep warm memories alive.

So let me explain…

When my brother and I were little, there was a fireplace in the living room. The winters are rough here but oh so beautiful with the snow. You must keep warm and lighting up a fire in it was a good way to achieve that : not only does it warm up your home, it also warms your heart. Now, the fireplace we had wasn’t the massive type with a mantlepiece and a big chimney made of fieldstones running along the house. No, no. Ours was a wood burning stove: made of iron with a fairly small pipe for a chimney.

On Christmas Eve, my dad would ask us to help him set up the Elves’ Trap which consisted in an elaborate rope system (or so it seemed to us) that would keep the doors of the unlit stove slightly ajar. The idea was that when Santa’s Elves would climb back up in the « chimney » after putting the presents under our Christmas Tree, their socks would get caught in the trap and that’s how we’d get our stockings full of surprises !

Now, you are right : it made NO sense whatsoever ! First, no Elf could fit down that pipe and second, well, neither could any gifts! But we went along with it because it was so silly, so much fun and so magical to wake up early on Christmas Day, certainly too early for our parents, run downstairs in our flannel pyjamas and wooly socks, rush to the living room, smell the sweet scent of fir coming from the Chrismas Tree we had picked up and find the presents below it and our stockings filled to the rim hanging from the tightly closed doors of the wood heater.

Since a picture is worth a million words, check out my face on this one! I must have been 7 years old on that.

So, come over here awesome you. Sit next to me, let’s sip some tea and check out my Dad teach the kids the « ropes » of making a good trap, watch their face light up and get all excited.

Oh. And here : don’t forget your stocking, lovely.

Happy Holidays dearest !

Always find a way to keep the magic alive in your heart, whenever and whatever goes.

You can do it. I believe in you xxxx

Stop. Look & Listen. That’s Life happening. Sometimes en Français et parfois in English. www.ajvallee.ca