A Christmas Story: Christmas Threads and Sand Castles
by Clance Hardy
Snowman Photo: Courtesy of Morguefile.com
Strings on scarves of painted snowmen tie my heart to mom's beautiful wish. How she searched the years for buttons and thread to hold the ardor of my siblings together. My brother and sister and me-we found our mother's love, when the cold world pressed our face in the snow. I chuckle to an early day of December at the same time, almost every year, from early Christmas Cards. A "love mom" closing attached to a snowman salutation is a chance for her to repeat any elder morals to the free verse of living, and simple life. As I held the card stuffed envelope today from many miles away, the echo of motherly love is spoken in the cliché of an early Christmas phone call.
"I bought you a bucket and pail this year for Christmas. It only costs 75 cents at the store. I figured since you live around the beach it would come in handy. If all else fails, you can use it to plant flowers in or take the shovel and pail and mix biscuit dough," she said, over the phone. In a sense of humor, I immediately agreed with the philosophers that say: "No gift from the heart is a worthless vow of giving."
She remembers the heart of a man is his stomach. The aroma of southern cooking left a string unattached to the smell of spice, from that old wooden house we used to live. Daydreaming of a sand fortress could not compare to the love a family builds inside a conservative home, along with the lingering herbs of good food. Good food for thought nourished my mind as she found comfort to her own insecurities by telling me of the yuletide tangibles I receive; before I receive them. While a good mother thinks her gifts are too few, I think my mom’s gifts are far too many.
"I was at the store today, and I noticed a well- dressed man. I had thought he was completely mentally capable until he begun to speak. He talked of giving Santa Claus cookies and milk. He asked his grand-pa what he should give Santa for Christmas. He continued to talk in his mentally challenged state. He began to talk to me about his train collection. He said his train collection was too big to keep in his room so they moved it to a portable building outside." Mom said, as she continued to talk.
Many folks say there is no pure innocence to people in the world. We are guilty of some things, some times. But, she found a kind- hearted spirit in an adult with a special need. As the art of giving and receiving left my mind in a simple moral, the true meaning of the holiday had whispered softly across my ears. I found innocence in Christmas, and discovered a need of my own. Patience is a virtue, often mentioned yet seldom practiced, I had thought. Patience has been my only true need.
"Call me when you get the package," she said, as we hung up the phone.
How do I tie the string to the drawbridge of a great castle to the imagined warmth of a snowman? That question is my thought of creativity that gave me warmth, to love's scarf. The threads are intertwined in the cold days of the whispered Christmas Spirit. Mothers seem to look for that special thread that weaves the innocence of our youth. I give special thanks to my mother. She has given the true meaning of the holiday, in the times when all people can relate to each other. We all have our different handicaps.
Past the given copperplate of author's and writers, I know I will refrain to wait until the big day to unwrap the postage stamp box. Her promise of giving had never outweighed my own greed and relentless thinking to cheat the holiday spirit. Maybe wait until next year to be patient, I had thought. Living miles away does have major advantages.
I placed mom's snowman card under my phone on the table. No sand holds a family castle together for long without the wish of love to life's many challenges. The simple things of mom's castle scrolls are to things we can relate, plus a sand bucket and pail. Attach the strings of our youth to people who are less fortunate. And I have answered my own question to strings of castle drawbridges, and the threaded scarves of snowmen.
I close my eyes to imagine the wintry snowballs stacked neatly upon each other and the castle I could build. Mom's wish is a Merry Christmas. I wished a Merry Christmas to people with special needs. And next year, I find a different thread and button to nurture my inner child.