12 Days of Christmas Day 3

Arden Grey’s Favorite Christmas Gifts:

I have two gifts that stand out as favorites over the course of my life time. The first was a doll given to me by my father. At the time, I believed the doll to have come from Father Christmas, whom I longed to glimpse for myself. My father had constructed a ‘Father Christmas’ detector out of an old watch and a bell that jingled whenever Father Christmas was in the vicinity. He said it was to make certain I didn’t stumble upon the old man by accident and lose my presents, but now I realize it was a very crafty way for my father to make certain I didn’t happen upon him while he and my mother were arranging presents and decorating the house for Christmas morning.

One Christmas I found Miss Merriweather under the tree. She was a regular doll that was very popular at the time — I forget the true name of it. My father had taken it upon himself to ‘improve’ the doll by adding a voice cylinder inside that would say things recorded especially for me. My mother provided the voice for Miss Merriweather (this was long before dementia claimed her mind). One of the things she said was, “I love you, Arden.” I still have the doll, and every once in awhile I turn the key in her back so I can hear my mother tell me she loves me again.

My second favorite gift was one from Luke. He gave it to me our first Christmas after his return home. It probably seems like a trivial thing, but we didn’t know how much of his memory he’d regain after what those villains did to him, so when he surprised me with a new edition of Miss Bronte’s ‘Jane Eyre’ — the first Christmas gift he ever presented to me — I was delighted. What made it even more special was that he remembered that first Christmas.

Of course, every Christmas Luke and I get to spend together is the best gift of all.