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When I went to Michigan last summer to assist with closing down the parent’s house my brothers gave me carte blanche to take whatever I wanted. I didn’t bother with the silverware or expensive stuff. Rather I took an assortment of kick-knacks and souvenirs of my youth.  In the the back of a cupboard stuffed behind the china were two Christmas containers I made using cut-out paper drawings and see-through ‘snow’ glitter.  I was probably ten years old or younger when I made them. It was a simple job but I remember being quite proud of my industry. They probably haven’t seen daylight in decades. I certainly had forgotten about them. I took these, passing up the opportunity to take Mother’s china*.

Some of my fondest memories for the season are the church’s annual Christmas dinner and craft night. It happened in early December and I looked forward to it all year. In the glass case by the church office the crafts would appear for you to sign up to do.  After the pot-luck dinner (casseroles for days!) the tables were set up and you moved about from table to table, presenting your ticket, and making the craft which you took home at the end of the night. I must have attended up to a decade of these events. I didn’t know any of the kitschy things I made survived. The earliest made items (plastic deli container top creations with cut-out construction paper items attached with glitter and Elmer’s glue) were used until they disintegrated through time. 

I don’t remember these containers ever being out or used. Did Mother thank me and tactfully put them away, hoping I would not notice their absence? Could it be she had the forethought to bury them in the back of the cupboard for me to find them when she was dead and gone?  Who can say. Regardless of how they ended up there, I nearly came to tears to see something from that time of life had survived and in good shape too.

When emotions like this occur I know I have reached old age. A young man would not feel this way about such silliness.  

I wonder what to put into them. I wonder too if anything was ever put in them. Hard candy would be nice, as would red and green M&Ms. Maybe I will just keep them as they are: full of memories of Christmases long long ago.



*We have lots of china; our bins overflow with the stuff. At Thanksgiving for whimsy sake we got out a few plates. These haven’t seen daylight in ages either.

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December 2020

Spo-Reflections 2006-2018