Click any letter for a look at my prize-winning essay from the Erma Bombeck Writing Competition. You don't even have to buy a vowel.

Friday, December 24, 2021

This piece first appeared in the Huffington Post blog on December 7, 2015. Merry Christmas to the child in all of us.



Who knows how old I was?  It was the age of strings of lights with screw-in bulbs that squeaked with age and once-a-year use when you tightened the ones that worked themselves loose over the seasons. The one in my hand was a dull red, almost dusty rose with age. How could that be pretty on the tree? How could it shine with the light of Christmas on our wonderful tree? I wanted to throw it away.  But you didn’t waste, not even a single lackluster bulb that lived in the hidden cupboard under the stairs all the months of the year save one.

Bring that light, Amy. This one’s broken.

I held back, sure the cloudy bulb would ruin Christmas, would cast an ugly shadow on the beauty and take away the magic of the day. Mama held out her hand. I dropped the bulb in her open palm and thrust both hands behind my back. I wanted no part of this.

There. Let’s plug them in and see how it looks. Run turn off the lights.

Toe-lifted, I reached up and turned off the lights.  I stared at the wall, not wanting to turn around.

Ohhh! Look! Assorted sounds of admiration floated like fairies around the room.

I squeezed my eyes shut and turned around on a moment that hung in time, then chanced a peek through one eye.

It WAS beautiful. All of it was beautiful! And the loveliest light of all was the red one that shone with a deep, lustrous beam when lit from inside.

And so do we all.

Merry Christmas.


No comments: