‘Twas the Night Before

All writers in Op Ed are here to inform and acknowledge issues of importance to our communities, however these writings represent the views and opinions of the authors and not necessarily of The Advertiser.

By Linda Nidiffer

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house all the creatures were stirring including the mouse!  Good grief!  Will the kids ever settle down for their long winters’ nap so I can finish for Santa before I collapse?  We had done the cookies and hot chocolate routine for the Jolly old elf, now it was time for teeth brushing and story time.  Should I dose them with Benadryl before there is murder and mayhem?  No, no that is just wrong.  They will be sound asleep soon, won’t they??  I know they will be up before dawn! Ten o’clock comes and goes and they are still restless in their little beds so I can’t make a move yet.  Eleven o’clock and Tom is nodding off but I need him to help with a few put tab A into slot B kind of things so  I guess it is now or never!  

Do you have those frantic memories of Christmas Eve?  Holy Smokes! I thought I would never live through them and when Christmas Day rolled around I was so tired I don’t think I could actually enjoy or remember the big event—everything is lost in a fog of tiredness, expired adrenaline, and miles of travel between family members.  Do I wish for a return of those days?  Hmmmm?

Our kids didn’t crave the usual kid toys of their days.  My daughter received a life like doll that did life like things.  You could feed this doll and then later change her little diaper.  My daughter was so disgusted half way through the first diaper change that she never played with any doll again—including Barbies!  Barbies were good for taking their heads off and attaching the heads to rockets to see how far the rockets would go!  

One of her favorite Christmas gifts was a Simon Says electronic game.  It has been so long ago that I am not sure of the name but that is close.  You could play alone or against someone.  It had a light component, a music component, a speed component and a memory component too.  She would take on all comers. All comers left the playing field in humiliation. She was like that with a Rubix Cube and Connect Four.  She just “saw” the solution to those puzzles and didn’t understand why others didn’t. She was a puzzle herself sometimes.

My son liked his football; loved to play the game, but I think some of his favorite Christmas gifts were kitchen supplies.  He started cooking with me when he was a toddler.  Tell him to stir something at age three and he would ask if it was a blending stir, folding stir, or a brisk stir.  He really loved to cook and bake.  He had his own baking business by the time he was 9.  Give him a novelty cake pan or a set of decorative icing tips and he was a happy kid dreaming of different ways to use them.

From my empty nest of memories to youand yours, Merry Christmas. Breathe, stop to smell the Christmas tree and store all of the memories of your beloveds.