SYMBOLS OF THE GREATER GIFT
At a Christmas celebration in a nursing home, I asked the folks to tell us about their favorite Christmas experience. The group seemed to light up. Spontaneously one by one they told their Christmas story. Each was different except in one respect. Every experience was taken from their childhood. They did not remember Christmas as a parent, but as a child. Then I turned the question on myself. I, too, returned to my childhood. The first, and perhaps most memorable, experience I recalled took place when I was seven years old. Early Christmas Eve, my mother took my brother and me out for a treat. It was her way to get us out of our fifth floor apartment in the Bronx while my father prepared the evening festivity. As we climbed the stairs back to the apartment, the shrill sound of a whistle filled the hallway. What was that, and where did it come from? Our pace quickened and…
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