Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Holiday Memories

Every now and then, I start to feel nostalgic—which I suppose is obvious given my reminiscing here.

Today, I started feeling nostalgic about the St. Genevieve Christmas Bazaar. Every year in Maher Hall, there was a collection of items ranging from baked goods, to plants, to craft items that could be purchased by the students. It was a fund-raiser for the school, but it was also a fun opportunity to let the kids to their Christmas shopping. It was especially fun for the really young kids, who were sent with an envelope of money and a “list” of items to be purchased. All the parents who were volunteering at this big event would walk around with the little ones, helping them pick out gifts for their families.

I remember walking around, feeling overwhelmed by how much stuff was there. I wanted it all! The little Christmas magnets? Loved ’em. Yarn doilies? Everyone needs more doilies. Pictures, live plants, fake plants, key chains…it was a paradise of sorts.

But the best part was the raffle. There were certain items—a little bigger and a little nicer than the regular stuff that was for sale—that you could buy raffle tickets for and keep your fingers crossed, hoping that you would win it.

One year (and I’m struggling to remember if it was third or fourth grade), there was a neat little camera up for raffle and my boyfriend Jason really, really wanted it. I think he spent all his money buying tickets, sure that if he put in enough, he was guaranteed to win it. He was crushed when he didn’t.

And then there was me. I had a little money left over after purchasing a vast array of craft items and plastic flowers, so I threw in a raffle ticket for a Cookie Monster cookie jar. It was hand-made and came from someone who had created it in a ceramics class. I won that cookie jar. And I still have it. In fact, I’m looking at it right now.

For the most part, it has sat, completely empty, devoid of cookies or any other treats. So why do I keep it? Why do I let it sit empty, year after year?

Because it’s not empty. It’s full of memories…twenty years of memories…memories of an easier time, simplicity and innocence. It’s full of the memories of one little girl who is now a woman on the outside, but on the inside, still carries hopes and dreams for the future.


Margaret said...

Our parish school has a Christmas Bazaar for the children to shop at each year. Last year, it was so sweet to see those little gifts, so lovingly chosen, wrapped in tissue paper, clutched by tiny hands that couldn't wait to get home and put them under the tree. Next week, the kids get the chance to shop for this Christmas. The traditions live on...

Martha said...

Awww. I'm getting all teary!

Catherine said...

You're getting teary? I'm getting teary!!! I'll never forget the year I got the chicken pox and I had to miss the Christmas Bazaar. I was so mad at mom...but I was even more mad at Robert Ching.

I wish we were six again.