Thursday, December 24, 2009
Tradition with Motive
We always bake and decorate sugar cookies a few days before Christmas. This is not a tradition that carried over from my childhood. In fact, I don't remember ever decorating cookies as a child. I think my mom just sprinkled sugar on top. But we started this years ago, and it is definitely one of our favorite Christmas traditions.
I don't think my mom usually decorates with us, although I imagine she has in the past. But this year it seemed like the perfect way to get her out of her house for a couple of hours. She was excited to come over and decorate with us, and afterward she had a rousing game of Legos with Duncan. Just when Duncan was getting really wild and she was ready to go, my Dad pulled in the driveway to pick her up.
And take her back home, where he had her Christmas present waiting for her.
When my parents moved here for good a few months ago, they had to leave the old upright piano behind. This was an old player piano with the "player" mechanism removed. It had been out of tune my entire life and the keys were broken and somewhat sticky, but it was beautiful and my mother enjoyed playing it anyway. She was brokenhearted to leave it behind, but she knew it was too heavy and not worth moving.
And so, for Christmas, my father bought her a piano. For the first time in probably all of her 82 years, my mother has a piano that is perfectly tuned with all the keys intact. When she sits down to play, her fingers find the notes with a grace and clarity that comes from a lifetime of loving the feel of fingers on keys and the sound of music.
Needless to say, my father, who for 61 years has faced the yearly "what should I get for your Mother?" dilemma, found the perfect Christmas gift this year. Plus, he got some cookies.