In another life, I was in a relationship living with a honey on the reservation in Cherokee, NC. We lived in a trailer below his mom’s house, which was a two story, hundred-year-old log cabin. I love that place. It was the best. We spent most of our time at his mom’s house. My honey, being the 2nd to youngest of six kids, had a very huge extended family as well. They’d come from all over the country to visit their Mom and Dad (my honey’s parents) for Christmas.
One particular year, all twenty-some-odd of us, including boyfriends of the grandkids and myself, ate dinner and settled in for the night at his Mom’s. At some point after the meal, she solemnly handed my honey a worn faded black velvet bag. He nodded sagely. Here I am, thinking its some huge Native American ritual. I’m some random white chick from Georgia about to be cultured. I was full of pride.
His youngest nephew, who was the tender age of six, asked his mom if he could go outside and look for Santa in the sky. His Mom and Dad took him outside to stand on the lower level front porch. Honey grabbed my hand and darted for the back stairs without speaking. He took them by twos up to the second floor and ran down the hall to a guest bedroom. By this time, I was thoroughly confused. Pausing to open the black velvet bag, he pulled out a hand full of faded silver sleigh bells. He looked to me and winked. We snuck outside to the second story porch and tiptoed to stand above his nephew, positioned right below us. They pointed to the sky… honey shook the bells. His nephew screeched like a banshee and ran around the front porch looking around for any sign. Honey shook the bells again. More screeching… They all ran out of sight, the thundering of shoes was the only thing we heard as we dove back into the house and into a closet. We didn’t realize that was his nephew’s room for the vacation and we ended up staying in that closet for hours until the boy got tired enough to sleep. It was cramped, dark, and hard to hold in the giggles, but by far one of the best Christmas evenings I’ve ever spent, even in the closet – just to listen to the giggles and banshee screeching of a magic-filled six year old boy on the other side of the door.
Thanks to the Army of Ermas for having me. I had a great time. Happy holidays to everyone and hope you find a special closet to hang out in.