Friday, December 5, 2014

A Sweet Memory

Do you remember these?

Every Christmas all four of us kids would find a Book of candy Life Savers in our stocking. Right away I’d eat my favorites—what were they?—most likely wintOgreen and cherry. Then I’d move onto secondary ones. Until all that were left in the “book” were butterscotch and rum-flavored rolls. They might stay bookmarked well into February or March.

Sometimes my sister and I would make trades. Swap one of hers for one of mine. The boys most likely gobbled theirs down before New Years.

We came to expect the Book of Life Savers. Even the year Mom was in the hospital, we recognized that familiar oblong box sticking out of the cuff of our knit stockings. Even after we left home for college and one or two of us might return home for the holiday there would be a Book of Life Savers waiting for us.

For my parents it might have been a throw-away gift, an easy pick, something they didn’t have to put much thought or effort into. But, for me, in the rearview mirror of memory, it is the one thing they gave me at Christmas that still sticks out. I’d be hard pressed to remember all the toys, games, books and records under the tree. A couple stand out, but, in the end, they became the throw away gifts. Records traded in for cassettes for CDs for downloads. Books traded in at the used bookstores or sold on-line for new ones or left outside in the free box. It got to the point where you couldn’t even give things away. All the useless crap. Especially after my parents moved after Dad retired. I didn’t have room for the stuff Mom had saved in the basement in case we might want any of our childhood “treasures.”

All that stuff is gone. So also Mom and Dad. Just yesterday at Target I saw a Book of Life Savers in amongst the assorted holiday candy that takes up a whole section of the store. Customers rushing around me must have thought I was crazy, standing there tearing up. 

--Remember to remember to download my NEW BOOK

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