As I reflect back on the greatest Christmas memory of my life, I would have to return to my youth .
A young boy, 10 yrs old, living with 4 brothers, in our home in North Wales, Pennsylvania. Our home wasn’t that special. It wouldn’t draw your eyes even if given a chance. It was a simple three floor duplex, and that’s only if you consider the attic a 3rd floor . Yet in my eyes, it was a grand old house; from which many adolescent memories were formed . If the house could speak, it would tell tales of 5 boys that didn’t have much as far as material things, yet looking back now we were rich beyond our dreams . My brothers and I had a bond with each other as if the outside world didn’t matter because we were there for each other. No, we never had an Atari computer game and hand me down clothes filled our dressers. Yet we had more much more than other boys who had new bikes or new clothing. My dad did his best on a one income family with a dedicated mom who stayed home to raise us .
I particularly remember the Christmas when I was 1O yrs old . It had been snowing that Christmas eve and the windchill outside felt like a crisp 20 degrees . The frost around my bedroom window made it difficult to see outside. Christmas eve, the most magical night for the Reyes boys, was upon us. Although, the lack of money was always an issue, somehow my dad and mom managed to give us presents that we treasured. Like my western long ranger silver color cap gun which helped me properly fight the villains . It was always a major dispute between my brothers and I , as to who shot who first; in which case the looser had to lay down on the cold hard ground . This particular Christmas eve night my brother Jesse , George and I came up with the grand idea of pushing their two twin beds together and gathering as many blankets as humanly possible to cover both beds, making one massive bed .
The rooms were small, maybe 10′ x 10′, but our dreams were big. We jumped into this massive bed that fit all three of us . I remember it getting dark at approx 7PM and it was the one time, all year long when we would actually go to bed early . After all, Santa doesn’t come unless you’re sleeping. I remember we all jumped into the bed and we giggled for hours, just dreaming of what the next day would bring, with presents around our tree . The cool temperature dropped as the night set in and we hid in our blankets, exposing only our eyeballs, allowing us to stare at the bedroom window . It was then, that snow began falling and we thought, how magical this night is turning out to be.
The falling snow piercing through the window gave us that cozy feeling as the warmth of the blankets heated our bones . I remember thinking for just one moment during the minutes before fading to sleep , treasure this, it won’t last forever; we will grow up one day and moments like these will be lost in the past . That night the magic filled the air in the room as we laid in bed huddled together . Although, we were anticipating precious gifts the next day , the true gift of Christmas were laying next to me . It was our bond that was the gift .
It was the fun we had playing cowboys and Indians , it was playing practical jokes on each other like popping out of a closet to scare one another. it was watching “ Old Yeller “ and pretending not to cry , it was patching up scraped knees from playing outside, or the countless hours of having a baseball catch, or playing hide and seek.
I wouldn’t see how special that night was until years later when we got older . As we got older and one by one , we went our own ways; leaving our home and our family behind .
Still we revisit that magical Christmas Eve night, where 3 boys, full of dreams, cuddled in a massive bed, anticipating the next day .
“Good night Jesse .. Goodnight George it’s time to fall asleep… think about tomorrow and all the presents we’ll get …” As we faded into dream land.
It wasn’t the presents we received the next day that lasted, it was the one thing that remains between all my brothers and I even today ……… our bond to each other .
The little boys have grown up into mature wonderful men but when we get together and we look at each others eyes …
It still feels like home to me .
Written By: Reiko Reyes, Creator & Vocalist of Christian Band
Heart Of David
Edited By: Writerreyes
Cherish your family and all the small moments, they are the ones that count and remember what Christmas is all about!