Many years ago, almost eighty I think, a Christmas tradition was begun among the women in my family. My mother's mother was a small child when she became a writer. She had just celebrated a fun Christmas with her family and was telling her mother that she wished she could remember it forever.
Her mother said, "Why don't you write it down. Then you could read it later and remember everything."
So my grandmother took some paper and wrote down the story of that Christmas. It isn't very well written and there are a lot of mistakes in spelling, but I love to read it all these years later. My grandmother did the same thing next Christmas. For the next twenty-nine years, my grandmother saved Christmas in an old wooden box. She wrote down the details faithfully; even when the Christmases were shadowed with grief.
When my own mother was eight years old, the same age my grandmother was when she began, my mother became the Christmas writer. She kept the same wooden box and took it with her when she married my father.
My mom was the writer for forty years because she got a late start on a family. Then there were all boys until I was born. When I was eight, the job was passed to me. I have kept the tradition since.
Grandma died last year and it will be a rather sad Christmas that I have to save this year. She loved reading the stories when we were finished with them. When she was sick, I used to sit by her bed and read some of them to her. She used to say how right her mother was. She said that she could remember it all like it was yesterday. As I get ready for tomorrow and the duty of saving another Christmas, I am thinking about Grandma. I am hoping that this year, she will be the one to save Christmas in Heaven.
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