Saturday, December 10, 2011

I'm Dreaming of a White (Socks) Christmas

I have many Christmas memories, most of them wonderful, some of them truly horrible.  I survived the horrible and cherish the wonderful.

And of all things, every time I see a new package of white socks, I remember Christmas at my Grandma’s house.

Every Christmas day, my Mom, Dad and I would have our own Christmas time and then we would travel ‘over the river and through the woods’ to Grandma’s house, where extended family gathered for more celebration.

Often, distant family would come who hadn’t called to tell Grandma they were coming.  But she was always ready for them, for at Grandma’s house, no one left without a present.

As soon as she’d see Aunt Irma and Uncle Lernie, or Aunt Irene or Uncle Dice pull up, Grandma would send me hurrying to her bedroom dresser, to get from the top drawer (where I wasn’t allowed to go otherwise, because that’s where Grandpa kept his ‘secret’ stash of pink lozenges that I so loved) a package of men’s or women’s white socks to wrap and put under the tree with their name on it.

It might not be white socks anymore, but my own mother always has a little stash of gifts for the unexpected guest and now, so do I, because you never know who might drop by at Christmas.  And every guest, bidden or unbidden, must have a gift.

Welcoming the unexpected is a wonderful lesson my Grandma, Mary Edra Tennant Pyles, taught me about the meaning of Christmas.

And like Bing Crosby, I too dream of white Christmases, but mine are filled with socks more than snow.

This Christmas, may you be met with gifts of white socks everywhere you enter as the unexpected guest; and may you be ready to welcome such guests into your own circle of love.

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