Winds whistled through the windows of our four-room house, and I shivered beneath the thin blanket, unable to get back to sleep. It was Christmas morning, and I could see an ever-so-faint shade of light begin to rise in the sky. There were six of us kids home then, after the oldest married and moved out. Three boys slept on cots in the living room next to our bedroom, where we three girls slept. But for Christmas, we were all crammed into one room so as not to scare Santa while he worked his Christmas magic.
“Are you awake?” A sister whispered.
“Yea. I think Santa’s been here,” I said.
The brothers began chanting. “We want up! We want up!” My sisters and I joined in. We knew we were not allowed to go into the living room until Mom said so.
“We want up! We want up!”
The fire had gone out, and I could hear Mom shaking the grate of the potbelly stove in the living room. Warmth seeped underneath the door.
We stood in line.
I was anticipating the room of Christmas magic.
There, Santa had filled our socks with candies, nuts, and an orange. Draped icicles sparkled aside hot, enchanting bubble lights, and other bright reds, blues, and greens heated our long-needled pine tree bringing forth a fragrance one could only refer to as Christmas.