A very special Christmas Eve. For those of you who have asked, I do still write "Walker Stories", but don't post many anymore. I'm hoping to maybe publish some in the near future. Here's one of the oldies that some of you probably haven't seen.
Walker spends a great deal of time in his room or playroom with his assortment of stuff, and as I have come to realize in recent years, sometimes plans surprises for us all.
After Molly and Robert were married some of our traditional holiday customs had to be adjusted to accommodate the young couple’s desires to share the holidays with both of their families. It was agreed that our main Christmas meal would be on Christmas Eve, and I decided to invite Robert’s parents to join us. It was an opportunity for a new tradition, and we were all looking forward to it, but I was a little nervous about expanding our family to include the Gooches. Walker, however, was thrilled. He had enjoyed Robert’s parents, and especially his brother, Perry, during the wedding festivities, and the idea of having them with us made it like a party.
As I was making last minute preparations for the dinner, Walker came into the kitchen and asked me if he could say the blessing. This was a privilege he usually declines, probably because he is a little apprehensive about forgetting the words to the memorized blessings that his sisters have used through the years, so I was surprised, but readily gave him permission. I set up the buffet and everyone gathered in the dining room. As we bowed our heads, Walker began cleared his throat nervously and began to recite,...”T’was the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there. The children were nestled all snug in their beds....”
I panicked, caught between being impressed with the time and effort it must have taken him to memorize the long poem and being uncomfortable with all of us standing there with our heads bowed in prayer as he recited it. The girls were stifling giggles, but Molly’s new in-laws acted as if this sort of blessing were the most natural thing in the world on Christmas Eve. Walker continued, “On Dasher, on Prancer, on Comet and Blixen...”
Finally, he began to stumble over the words to a difficult portion of the poem, and I suggested to him that maybe we should go ahead and eat our dinner before the food got cold. I assured him that he could finish the poem after dinner. He shrugged his agreement and we proceeded with the meal.
When dinner was done, Walker asked to be excused while we ate dessert. A few minutes later, I heard him clear his throat, and looked up and saw him sitting on the stairs with his “Night Before Christmas “ book. As we enjoyed the last of the wine with our dessert, Walker read the poem to us.
I don’t know whether using “The Night Before Christmas” will ever catch on as a blessing, but Walker’s well rehearsed version was a blessing to all of us that Christmas Eve.