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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Parent (11/16/06)

TITLE: Little Things
By Bella Louise


Although I am supposed to be an adult, I still live at home and I still have a stocking every Christmas. I wonder if we will even give up this family ritual before Jon and I leave home. I hope not. I have precious, crystal-clear memories of Christmases from when I was a very small girl, clambering onto my parents’ bed and spilling the content of my stocking everywhere, giggling with delight as I recognised the Kinder-Egg and chocolate coins that cropped up every year. After Jon and I had opened our stockings and eaten most of the contents, we would trek into the living room. Now, I open my presents throughout the day, but at that age we would tear into them with great enthusiasm. (My brother still does this).

When I was about seven or eight, the present under the tree for me was a Cabbage Patch Kid doll. She came with long brown hair and a badly painted startled expression, and the message on the box said that her name was Louann Helen. She was my first new toy (my presents were often hand-me-downs) and I did not care that I was supposed to be too old for dolls. From that moment, I loved Louann dearly. When I got bullied at school, I would come home and tell her all about it. If I were learning to bake biscuits, she would sit on the counter with me and watch. I used to read her stories and give her lessons and I even introduced her to my one school friend (who, unfortunately, was male, wealthy, and had received a Sony Playstation that year, so failed to see the significance).

By the time the next Christmas rolled around, Louann and I were firm friends. I left the mince pies and Baileys for Father Christmas on the plate in the living room, tucked my doll into bed next to me, and then we both attempted to sleep. Christmas is probably my favourite day of the year, even now, and I invariably do not fall asleep for hours. When eventually I opened my eyes very early the next morning, it was to find not one, but two stockings hung over the edge of my bed-a large adult sized stocking and an ankle sock. The ankle sock read “To Louann, from Father Christmas.”

At that age, I still believed firmly in Father Christmas. I ran into my parents’ room shrieking at them to look, and they both seemed very surprised. I’m sure I received wonderful presents the next day, but I cannot remember what they were. What I remember is waking up to find that somebody had remembered what mattered to me.

Being a parent means knowing that the little things are what matter.

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This article has been read 581 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Donna Powers 11/24/06
How sweet! To get a stocking for your doll must have meant so much. Very charming idea, and a sweet story. Good work.
Leigh MacKelvey11/25/06
Very touching story. I remember those Cabbage Patch dolls when they first came out! It was nice to travel down memory lane with you!
Good job.
This is a delightful story. "Father Christmas?" Where are you? In America it's Santa Clause. I love all of the other cultures and their traditions. You're right. It's the little things that are remembered that count. Janie
Noreen Ophoff11/26/06
The little ankle sock for your doll brought tears to my eyes. What a great idea! Noreen
Joanne Sher 11/27/06
A very sweet story - thank you for sharing such a lovely memory with us.
Mo 11/28/06
I really love the last 2 lines. Thank you. (Something to aspire to!)
Bella Louise11/29/06
Father Christmas is the British (or possibly just English; Scotland, Ireland and Wales seem to have a lot of their own traditions) Santa Claus.