As my sister and I were cleaning out our mom and dad’s storage unit some years after their passing we came across our mom’s hope chest. Dusty and forgotten. When opening it for the first time after many countless years I discovered many items that my mom had saved through the years in that chest. There were baby shoes, a baby book with a lock of hair taped inside, countless birthday cards, and several hand-knitted baby blankets.
Taking each item out and examining the history of our childhood, I noticed at the bottom of the chest a sealed envelope. It was addressed to Santa Claus. My curiosity was peaked, and I just had to open it. What I discovered when opening it was that it was a letter I had written to Santa when I must have been 6 years old. I had to sit down.
I had been transported back in time and space to when I was a little girl in Jackson, Mississippi. Back when the anticipation of Christmas and Santa coming filled my little heart with joy and excitement. The silver tinsel tree with the spinning color light wheel that changed the tree’s color with every turn from green, to red, to blue, and gold. My sister and I would sit on the couch for hours just watching the tree sparkle and change.
Christmas would soon be here.
The letter was simple and not exactly perfect in spelling. It said:
“Dea Santa, please bring me these toys
Thank yoo Debby”
The letter had remained sealed in that hope chest just waiting and here I was reading it 50+ years later!
Our happy memories are often buried and forgotten as we grow older and wiser. It just takes an old photograph falling out from the pages of a book, a gold locket tucked away in the back of a junk drawer, a familiar scent on a scarf discovered among the jackets in the closet or even a sealed envelope addressed to Santa at the bottom of a chest that reminds us of the wonderful moments in our lives that we have long since buried in our own ‘hope chests’.
‘Tis the season that when we are among our family and friends, let us take time to reflect on the wonderful moments we have experienced in our lives. To reminisce on the joy, the laughter, and the love we have felt.
Whether it be Christmas Past or Christmas Present, what is it that you remember that brings you joy and a sense of happiness?