I love Christmas Day. But I particularly loved it when my children were young.
Up early, they’d check to make sure Santa had eaten his cookies and the reindeer had gnawed adequately at their carrots, before ripping open gifts to discover new toys and playthings.
Next was the once-a-year breakfast of cream cheese bread. Making the bread is a two-day process. But I happily prepare it, then and now, because the smell and taste equals Christmas for my daughter.
Then would come the best part. I went home for Christmas.
My husband would pack up the car, which we called the Santa Sleigh for this particular jaunt, and we would all pile in to drive to Asheboro—where my Christmas would begin. Where my parents, called Nana and Dahdah by my children, waited for us and I could revert to being a child along with my two children. Where mystery presents waited for all of us under the Christmas tree. Where my mother had spent two days baking an Italian Cream Cake, because the smell and taste of that equaled Christmas for me.
I still love Christmas. But my parents are no longer alive, and strangers live in their home. I can’t go home for Christmas anymore.