I know for sure on that on that December day it was snowing. And I know that when I arrived home from school with a cold nose and fingers, my mother was baking gingerbread men. And she was listening to Christmas music.
I remember paper snowflakes in the windows and a fire in our stove. I remember my mother in wool clogs and an apron. I remember mugs of hot chocolate. But these are things that I'm not sure about. They are fuzzy and I wonder if I've grown so fond of this memory, that my mind has embellished it. Frosted it with Christmas cheer, if you will.
I do not remember a single thing about Christmas day that year. I couldn't name one gift or event. I don't know exactly how old I was or if I still believed.
And it's a relief to me.
Because it means that life is celebrated in small snippets of time. Moments where all is right with the world slip through our hands too quickly, but we are gifted the memory.
As a mother, I have learned that is it folly to place all hopes of happiness into grand celebrations. Expectation has a way of masking what is most important. The road to happily ever after is paved with small, seemingly inconsequential memories. Moments of time. A hug. A laugh. A bike ride.
A mother baking gingerbread.
My goal is to live a life ripe with everyday celebrations. And to record them for my children so that they can choose which ones are most precious. Which ones they will embellish in their minds.