Tuesday, November 4, 2014

What Is Your Favorite Holiday Memory?

The prompt for NaBloPoMo for today was:  "What is your favorite holiday memory? (And yes, you can pick any holiday, including your birthday)"  Well, TODAY is my birthday.  Another trip around the sun.  Another year to reflect on.  Another..... year. 

There are many memories each of us have of favorite birthdays.  My brother is twenty years older than me and has lived most of his adult life in South Africa.  When I was a little girl, I rarely saw him.  He and his family would come home to the U. S. every five to six years.  I missed him terribly and counted the days, weeks, months and years until I would see him again. When he was home for my birthday, it was a special day indeed. 

One Very Special Day
My absolute favorite memory of those special birthdays was when I turned ten.  My mother was gravely ill throughout my childhood which meant we did not do a lot of celebrating.  I was thrilled when she would be well enough to bake a cake for my birthday.  This was going to be one very special day.  She had made her famous German Chocolate Cake with the pecan and coconut icing.  It was a time-consuming, difficult cake to make and reserved for special occasions. 

My big brother was home.  He had brought me a present.  I was thrilled and couldn't imagine what was in that package.  It was thin and flat.  It was bigger than a book but not thick enough to be one.  I could barely make it through dinner and cake, as my excitement was out of control.

He handed me the package -- the mystery package -- the flat one.  He warned me to be careful opening it.  My excitement quickly turned to sadness when I saw that it was not one, but THREE beautiful vinyl records.  I didn't want to tell him that I had no way to play these records and hoped he had not seen my disappointment.

He must have sensed it but he sat there smiling at me.  I thanked him and hugged him and then my sister walked into the dining room carrying a large box.  I didn't understand.  I had already received my gift.  She handed it to me as my brother's eyes twinkled.

I ripped the paper and ribbon off and opened the brown box.  I couldn't believe my eyes.  It was my very own record player.  I had never received such an extravagant gift and it was all mine. I was so happy I cried.  It is one birthday I will never forget.

My brother is now in his eighties and his health is failing.  How I wish I could see him one last time to tell him how much I loved him and how much his gift meant to me.  But..... I will always have the memories.

Do you have a special birthday memory that you will never forget?

Photos courtesy of tablefourfive.com, retrotogo, the guardian.com

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