I couldn’t understand how I’ve never stumbled over our Christmas tree while it was hidden behind our pantry door waiting for the big day. My parents used to put me early to sleep on Christmas Eve with, “Santa is on his way with the tree.” It was an enigma how they managed decorating it in perfect silence, three feet from my bed, without waking me up.
There were no carols on the radio, since the regime didn’t allow that kind of music. The only sound in the house was of the firewood crackling in the stove.
When the gifts were under the tree on the table and everything was ready, my parents started caroling in a low voice. Deep inside my sleep I could hear the melody. My head was still heavy and I felt tired, but the excitement pulled me to the edge of the bed.
Dad had lighted small candles attached to the tree and the glitter kept me in awe.The mystery was so sweet that I didn’t want to disturb it. And I was just sitting there and breathing in the fragrance of oranges. while my parents were singing with tears in their eyes.
Sometimes Santa knocked at the door, but that’s another little story.