I don’t know if there was, or will ever be, anyone who took Christmas as seriously as Non. She would decorate her tree, place her nativity under it, and then set out to be Cookie Baker Extraordinaire while making sure we were all treated fairly.
When I say fairly, I’m not even close to joking.
Non has 5 grandchildren. She would tell us that she loved us all the same (I know the truth, wink wink), and we would argue with her over how she loved ME best (or my brother or my cousins…). She would make us cookies. Each one of us would have the same shaped cookie with the same general amount of sprinkles on it. No one ever got an extra scoop of ice cream (except her dog) unless everyone was OK with it.
However, when it came to gifts, she totally took the cake! NO ONE could do up Christmas like Non. No one ever made my Dad cry from laughing like Non.
For example, one year, to be fair, all the boys in the family got The Amazing Roller Ruler. 4 men, opening The Amazing Roller Ruler and trying to act like they enjoyed it. Another year, we ALL got slippers shaped like animals (I think my brother still wears his).
Yet none of that even holds a candle to the year…
Picture this—the happy family sitting on the floor, lounging on chairs and couches after a gorgeous Christmas meal. Non begins to hand out gifts to her family. Everyone opens and oohs and aaahs over each other’s new sweaters, sweatshirts, and socks. And then, my youngest cousin opened a loaf of bread. You could have cut that loaf of bread with the silence in the room!
Non looked around and told us how G loved that particular bread and she had some extra money left to spend on her ($1.35) so she got her bread. Non then produced baby food jars full of pennies for the rest of us–just to be fair!
This year, it’s very bittersweet. I know she is happy (truth be told, she’s probably telling everyone how to decorate the trees in Heaven) but I selfishly miss her more and more. I wish she was here when I had a question or just needed to hear her voice.
Someone will have to get a loaf of bread this year…