An orange in the toe of our stockings.
Peering around the big green vinyl chair that was used to block the entrance to the living room so we couldn’t get to the tree before my parents and open all the presents.
My name scrawled with black marker across faded thin wrapping paper in my mother’s handwriting.
Alvin and the Chipmunks singing Christmas songs from a scratchy vinyl record.
My hair in curlers.
Silvery flakes of wrapper from the miniature chocolate Santas.
Snow. Always snow.
A plush Santa shaped like a cone that played Santa Clause is Coming to Town when you wound the metal key on his side.
An Easy Bake Oven, Battleship, Rock Em Sock Em Robots, Baby Boo, Mystery Date, Francie (Barbie’s “mod” cousin), paint by numbers, a potholder loom.
Sneaking cookies from the tins my mother hid under her bed to keep us from eating them all before Christmas day.
Visiting the Aunts on Christmas Eve and watching the cold black sky on the ride home for a glimpse of Santa’s reindeer.
Wearing tights that pinched and sagged and scratched.
A wooden manger with an angel tied to the roof, real straw in the crib, one black wise man, a lamb with a chipped ear.
Pounds of silver icicles draping the tree making it look like a birthday cake.
Driving around the neighborhoods to look at the lights.
Waiting, waiting, waiting. For magic.