The Christmas Chimes

I used to hear chimes.

I heard them the year I got a shoe box that contained two baseball cards and the gum was still with them.

I heard them the Christmas they all got together and cleaned the garage.

They're gone, aren't they? The years of the lace doilies fashioned into snowflakes, the hands traced in plaster of paris , the Christmas trees of pipe cleaners , the thread spools that held small candles. They're gone.

The childish decision of when to break the ceramic piggy bank with a hammer to spring the 59 cents is now resolved by a credit card.

The muted thump of pajama-covered feet padding down the stairs to tuck her homemade crumb scrapers beneath the tree has given way to pantyhose and fashion boots to the knee.

It'll be a good Christmas. We'll eat too much. Make a mess in the living room. Throw the warranties into the fire by mistake.  Drive the dog crazy taping bows to his tail. Return cookies to the plate with a bite out of them. Listen to Christmas music.

But Lord, what I would give to bend low and receive a gift of toothpicks and library paste and hear the chimes just one more time!

written by Erma Bombeck

Merry Christmas