A cake depicting Santa Claus, a wreath, candles, and three Christmas trees.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

My birthday is always holly and jolly, because I share it with Christmas. I get all the blessings, gifts, and joy for both my day and Christ’s day.  

My parents used to order me a big white sheet cake from Giant with lovely decorations and ice cream on the side. They always left a slice of cake for Santa Claus, along with a few cookies and a glass of milk. 

They let me cook Christmas breakfast, too. I was 8 years old the first time I picked up a frying pan and cooked eggs and bacon and toast with jam. My sisters and brothers and mom and dad loved my creative cooking! At our house, the holiday was always full of smiles and joy and sharing and caring for each other. Each year, we would go into the attic to get all of our Christmas things, including our silver tree and silver and gold ornaments. Then my parents would fix our favorite cookies and milk with a smile. We’d have marshmallows and cocoa and keep the heat up full blast all my Christmases were wonderful.  

There were always plenty of Christmas gifts (and birthday cards for me) from friends and family. Santa left a million toys the year of 1976! That was the biggest Christmas I had with my brothers and sisters. 

Back then, D.C. almost always got a snowfall a few days after Christmas. We would all throw snowballs at each other, make snow angels, and just have so much fun. My mom would even take us out to collect fresh snow to make ice cream, It was so good.  

My parents told me that the day I was born it snowed very high and deep, so much that they had to get a cab from Howard University to Potomac Ave. SE. Mom said I was the cutest Christmas baby and all the hospital staff were fawning over my dimples and curly brown hair. 

As we all got older, my brothers and sisters and I would still gather at my parents’ house every Christmas Eve and spend the whole day with them.  

Our final Christmas with my dad was sad for us. We would gather around the bed and talk to him, along with our presents and love. He smiled in good spirits, even though he knew it would be one of his last looks at us. 

In a way, this was a relief because we knew how bad he hurt by the way he cried in pain on many nights. He would tear up and hold our hands. But it was also incredibly sad. Planning the funeral services was hurtful, especially for my mom. We had a farewell Christmas dinner for him. 

May all of you have a joyful Christmas holiday and know that any of your loved ones who are gone are home, along with my father, in the paradise of Heaven. There, all sickness and pain is gone and there are plenty of smiles to go around. The are with us.  

I am happy for another birthday and lots of gifts and cards. I am always out selling my papers with a smile and greeting for the many cheerful people that I meet. I’m grateful for all of you in my community. 

Merry Christmas to all across the world, with lots of joy and smiles and blessings and kindness!