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Christmas

WHEN CHRISTMAS CHANGED FOR A JEWISH GIRL LIKE ME

WHEN CHRISTMAS CHANGED FOR A JEWISH GIRL LIKE ME

“I was just outside walking Brandy and I heard sleigh bells overhead,” said my father, his voice almost thundering in excitement.

I was downstairs in our finished basement playing on the rust-colored shag carpeting, and it was getting late.  I looked up at him – he was big; I always looked up at him – and as I listened carefully to the words he was saying to me, I felt my face grow very pale.

“I have to go to sleep!  I have to go to sleep!” 
 

THE GIFT

THE GIFT

It was several years ago in December.  My family was gathered at my sister’s house for our annual holiday party – the one we don’t have anymore – and it was after dinner when we began to pass out presents.

I should probably backtrack and tell you that the latent ghost of Martha Stewart sometimes lives inside of me – or at least she sometimes visits like my body is a time-share in the Poconos.  I know, of course, that Martha Stewart is alive and therefore should not have a spiritual presence, but I think women like that – Connecticut-bred specimens who can fashion potpourri out of a pinecone and tree bark in seven seconds flat – are probably powerful enough to exist on more than one astral plane at a time.

My Martha gene came to me in a thunder-filled rush while I was wrapping gifts for the holiday.