hidden Christmas

A Belinda Carlisle album.

I don't recall how old I was. Old enough not to believe in jolly ol' St. Nick. Yet young enough to have a wish list that ran from Cleveland to San Antonio. But I do remember: I wanted that LP.

I was resourceful. I recognized my Grandmother, my Mom, and aunt had spent hours at the mall the day before. And let's just say gifts in their traditional hiding spots weren't so hidden. So as the older, wiser sibling, I sent my sister on the prowl, like a leprechaun searching for a pot of gold.

She hit the jackpot alright. And then I think our aunt hit the roof. Holy wrath.

Christmas was canceled, she announced.

I was devastated.

All the while, my Grandmother, sat quietly, watching the events unfold. She got up from her recliner, wiped my tears then embraced me.

My grandma emigrated from the Philippines to the United States in hopes of a better life for her daughters. She supported her family working as a nurse at a tuberculosis hospital. I often visited her as she worked. Yet this is one of my first true memories of her nurturing spirit.

My Grandma released her hug and exited the room. I was unsure of what to expect next.

Even though it was days before Christmas, my Grandma returned with a square shaped present, wrapped ever so lightly. If you held it just right to the light, you could decipher what recording artist it was.

Belinda Carlisle.

Then together, we hid the gift in its rightful spot.


  1. Beautiful story, beautifully written. I laughed at the Christmas list "from Cleveland to San Antonio" - speaks to me. But now I have tears in my eyes. Thank you.


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