Christmas Memories by A. C. Greene

By A. C. Greene

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They shop when the weather's prettythey buy when the weather's cold," he said. I believed him. ") and a proud arrow drawn to the sales total at the foot of the page. Page 53 But returning to the 1930s: my grandmother and I boarded the little four-wheel trolley on the Fair Park loopthe men who were waiting all tipping their hats and letting the women and children on first. Pretty soon we were bumping and swaying up Sayles Hill on our way to downtown. The ride seemed extremely lengthy and adventuresome to me, although it couldn't have been that drawn-out, even by dinky trolley: the entire streetcar system of our town was barely five miles long.

With the occupants standing safe in the front yard, to be sure. Then, as the December shadows began drawing 'round, we boarded the streetcar at the stop in front of the Woolworth store and headed home. The day had grown overcast and the car was stuffed with shoppers and their packages, but we were all tired and didn't do much talking. My grandmother and I were immediately offered a seat by two men when we boarded the loaded trolley. I was so weary I didn't even Page 74Page 75 Page 76 resent the fact that I didn't get to push the buzzer, because our stop was at the end of the line so the car came to a halt without my help.

O. 1984.  Greene ; illustrations by Geoffrey Greene. p. cm. , 1923- .  Title. 2'663'09764dc20 96-8410 CIP Page 3 The Too-Big Christmas Tree Page 4 Page 5 Somewhere in your early years you begin to form your idea of Christmas. Not what it means as a religious festival, but the shape it should take to be the perfect season: the carols, the candles, the bells . . angels, weathers, chimney-smoke at night, the hills of Bethlehem . . all of that. And later, the regrets and sadnesses you cannot (and would not) shut out: the gifts you never gave and the gift you never got; sleigh rides you never took over snow Page 6 that never fell; a sudden voice, so long gone it has no connection with time any more, only with Christmas.

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