I recall, you say, the orange at the end of my stocking. So round and bright, and with a scent sweet as a spring meadow. And the little wooden train: Red and green. Its wheels would turn along the blanket of my bed as I chugged, and my parents slept, just a few minutes more, before the house burst into life.
When the rooms lit with squeals and spice, and the tree glowed through the morning drab, I grabbed a gift, hidden safe, to push it into my mother’s warm pale hands.
Her face gleamed with cheerful love amid the candle spark and fireside beam. Then, unwrapped, that china deer strolled along the mantlepiece to settle with the old herd — presents from other years.
Our dog and cat surveyed the festive scene. Bright paper shed ripped between canine teeth and feline claws streaked gold ribbon to threads. This is how I knew Christmas came to our house when I was six.