Family: Still looking for an old-fashioned Christmas

Wow! Here is is December already.

How did that happen?

And where did all this snow come from?

I mean soft and gentle snowflakes cascading gently to the ground to does create a nice Christmas card effect, but this is ridiculous.

As a working girl, not a particularly brave working girl, but a working girl, non-the-less, I found myself driving on the icy roads this weekend while the snow fell mercilessly all around me.

True, it was Christmas card beautiful, but driving in it was not particularly pleasant. In fact, I did not feel the spirit of the season surround me in any way, shape or form. And the lyrics to the song, ‘Walking in a Winter Wonderland’ playing on the car radio did nothing to improve my state of mind.

But, despite travel which was not recommended for the faint of heart or anyone else for that matter, I have to say I can already feel the slow stirrings of that holiday magic.

It’s weird how that happened.

Maybe the embers of that magic, gone cold throughout the year, were stirred slightly when I polished the mantle of an old coal oil lantern.

The lantern belonged to my mother.

I never knew my mother.

But, still, on a snowy, cold day in December when I am caught up in the throes of Christmas planning and decorating and working girl woes, I think of her and, somehow, I feel a kind of connection, like she knows me, somehow.

I hope so.

And, along with this feeling is the belief that somewhere, buried under layers of a modern Christmas, there still exists that magic of long ago.

And that’s what I want.

I want to find that magic.

I polish the old lantern slowly.

Outside the snow is falling and, in the hush of the morning, it seems like time travel could be a distinct possibility.

I close my eyes and will myself back there.

Back to the days of long ago.

Back to Christmases where childhood and innocence played hand in hand. Back to the days when Christmas was a huge tree set up in a simple white church, a brown paper bag filled with a Japanese orange and homemade fudge, brown stockings and a real tree. Back to the time when Christmas was bubble lights and tinsel and home.

I smile as I set the polished lantern on the little old table that, once a very long time ago, belonged to my parents. Enough reminiscing. I have to get to work.

Deadlines, you know.

I grab a coffee mug and my keys and away I go. Out the door.

My first brush with reality is getting my car stuck.

Did I mention the snow? Apparently, my vehicle was the first one to break tracks on what used to be the road in my subdivision. I drove backward. Still stuck. I drove ahead. Stuck even worse. I pounded the steering wheel in frustrtion and muttered self-righteously, “why me?”

Still stuck.

Finally, after I drive ahead and back and ahead and back for a total of two million times I somehow become unstuck.

But now I’m late and any Christmas magic I had managed to find is totally gone.

But, it will come back. I know it will.

It always does.

And when I get home, I will know that my husband, bless his heart, will have turned on the outdoor Christmas lights and their glow will look simply amazing under the soft blanket of snow that covers the trees in our front yard.

It is true that to turn on the lights he simply has to say, “hey, google, turn on the Christmas lights and Google will.

It’s not magic, really. It’s called Google Home and the kids bought the device for my husband for his birthday. He loves it and says it listens to him much better than humans such as myself, listen.

I smile and say nothing.

After all, I’m still looking for an old-fashioned Christmas.

Now, that involves real magic!

Treena Mielke is the editor of the Rimbey Review. She lives in Sylvan Lake with her family.

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