A Most Wonderful Time of the Year | Eastern North Carolina Now

    Publisher's note: Please join me in welcoming Author Michele Rhem, who presents us with her poignant memoirs of the Rabbit Patch, where her diaries weave tales of a simpler, expressive life lost to many, but gathered together in her most familiar environs - the Rabbit Patch.

Comfort and Joy

    It is that time, when bells are ringing and children are singing. It is the Christmas season, the most wonderful time of the year, many say. It is hard not to declare this a truth, when kitchens smell like cookies and twinkling lights wrap around porches like southern vines.

    Winter break begins on Wednesday, and until then, the rabbit patch corners are piled with presents to be wrapped, pretty paper and ribbons and possibly more lights. The "morning table" has a list beside the lamp, which is significant, as I never make a list for anything. . . unless it is Christmas.

    Moon Shine, has decided he is a proper house cat now. Maybe, Christmas is a factor. He is the worst thing to wrap presents with. Cash and Christopher Robin are content to nap or watch from a safe distance. Moon Shine is underfoot hoping a scrap of ribbon falls his way-he feels the same way about shiny paper. The scissors have been found in another room altogether because I took a coffee break. Apparently, he does not believe in Santa nor wonder if "reindeer really know how to fly". He is willing to take his chances, on that. Jenny says the same thing about Lyla.

    This morning, I am up early. The Christmas season at the rabbit patch is so far, foggy. The heavy mist with the bare trees gives a wintry picture out the window. If I glance in the direction of my neighbors, I see the glow of their strung lights and think what a lovely card it would make- otherwise, it looks like a scene from "Wuthering Heights".

    Tres and Kelsey are on the way to the rabbit patch, now. We will leave for Elizabeth City, shortly. Will and Jenny have been in their new home just a few months, but Jenny knew where the Christmas tree would be, long before she knew where the sofa and beds would be placed. Today, I will witness her decision and sing "Jingle bells" with Lyla. I look forward to showing Tres our familiar trek by the river and discussing Christmas secrets with Kelsey.

    At Christmas, I gather memories by taking great note of such occasions . I hoard them up like something precious, because to me, they are. They are the "stories in the making" that I will tell Lyla and the children to come, in our family. I will deliver them tenderly and with great honor, as in some sense, they are our own"gold, frankincense and myrrh" .
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