Certified, Insured, Fragile

A package would arrive, she said.

Certified, insured, fragile.

Terribly important she stressed.

We were out on an errand and we missed the delivery.

The box was returned to the post office, where it sat over the weekend.

Certified, insured, fragile.

And she worried.

Then she worried some more.

When the package, after being scheduled for redelivery, finally arrived at our home, she finally breathed again.

My mother.

She had sent us a gift, wrapped in tissue paper, memories, tradition, and love.

She had sent us Santa.

My mother won him in a raffle for a childrens’ charity shortly after she and my father were first married. ┬áHer lucky Santa, she always called him.

For years, he symbolized the start of the holiday season and all of the wonder and hope that came with it. I was certain that he carried magic in his bag.

Every evening, my mother would wind up his music box, two, three, four times, so that I could get lost in the delicate chimes.

After ever-so-carefully pulling him out of the box, I placed him on the table for Katie and Matthew to see.

I carefully wound his music box and hugged Matthew close and then reached for Katie’s hand.

I could see in the delight on Katie’s face that Santa was every bit as magical to her as he had been…still is…to me.

In the days since we received him, I’ve come to realize that relinquishing him couldn’t have been easy for my mother. As I have watched Katie enchanted by the sight of him each day, I’ve caught myself thinking that I could never part with him, as he will undoubtedly come to hold the same memories for me that he had for my mother.

He does, indeed, carry magic in that bag.

That she parted with him for us, in hopes that we too would experience his wonder, means the world to me.

Thank you, Mom.  Thank you for sharing something so special with my little family.

Thank you for trusting me with something so dear to you.

We love you so very much.

Merry Christmas.

This post is linked up to the Red Writing Hood prompt, Charity.


  1. @2bKate twitter.com/2bKate

    So sweet! I can picture Katie's face. My heart melts. It's hard to give stuff away that holds meaning… I hope I can be as courageous as your mom in passing down items I hold dear..

  2. bywordofmouth

    How beautiful, its an amazing thing when some little thing, a smell, a nuance … simply takes us back in time to relive a memory. Treasure your magical Santa, your Mom shared something special, can you imagine the memories that flooded her when she packed that box!
    Merry Christmas – much love xxx

  3. So beautiful. Hope you have a wonderful holiday.

  4. Ratz ratz-whatcanisay.blogspot.com/

    Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful :-)

    Merry Christmas

  5. Recent talk of the selflessness of motherhood…

    Yes, this is another lovely illustration.

  6. ksluiter

    this is a beautiful post about the love and selflessness of a mother. I know where you get it from, Nichole. Much love and joy to your family.

  7. Sherri

    I love this Santa and what he means to you! Yes, I would be willing to bet that it was very hard to give up, but she's not only gifting you the Santa but a whole slew of memories for you and your children!

    Merry Christmas to you and your wonderful family, Nichole.

  8. SquashedMom

    That is so lovely. And you know that while you are writing now that you will never part with him? In 25 or 30 years or so when Katie has a family of her own? You are so going to be passing this on to her, to spread the magic to yet another generation and the delight of your own grandchildren.

    Wishing warm and happy holidays to you and your family, my friend.

  9. that is so sweet. what a special family treasure to pass along throughout the generations. merry christmas!

  10. Cheryl @ Mommypants mommypants.com

    Lovely sighs.

  11. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    Thank you, Kate.
    It's so tough to imagine our children with children of their own, isn't it?
    I wish I could stop time…this moment right here is so perfect.
    Merry Christmas, my amazing friend.

  12. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    Thank you so much.
    That Santa makes me a little girl again, but also a mother. It's so strange to have one foot in each world.
    My mom gave me the perfect Christmas gift.

  13. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    Thank you, Cristina.
    I wish you a lovely holiday as well. :)

  14. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    A perfect illustration.
    Love you, dear one.

  15. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    Thank you, Katie, from me, but I'm guessing also from my mother.
    Merry Christmas!

  16. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    Thank you, Sherri.
    Just looking at him makes me tear up.

    Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family.

  17. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    It's funny…as I sat there and tried to imagine how I would ever hand him on to her, I looked at Matthew and wondered how I'd decide which of them would get it.
    And then I realized that my brother got robbed. ;)
    Sorry, Michael.

    Thank you for the holiday wishes, my sweet friend.

  18. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    Thank you, Grace. :)
    Merry Christmas to you and your sweet family.

  19. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    Thank you so much, my beautiful friend.

  20. andygirl

    I love how vintage he is! I mean, I know he's literally vintage, but there's something about the old decorations that have a certain charm. sort of like a Norman Rockwell painting. my mom has all my grandma's old decorations, which I loved as a child. I'll never get to see those again but they're alive in my memory.

    and think! now that lucky Santa will be bringing you luck. :)

  21. What a wonderful gift your mother gave you. Wrapping memories is so hard to do.

  22. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    He is so vintage and charming.
    Yes, I'm swooning over Santa. ;)

    Yes, the memories are the most important thing. They really are.
    Happy Holidays, Andy.

  23. Nichole inthesesmallmoments.com

    I couldn't have asked for a more generous and perfect gift.
    Happy Holidays, Jessica Anne!

  24. Jennifer Dillon

    I love the triple awareness of your own delight, your children's delight and what it meant for your mother to part with it, to give you yet another layer of Santa. A lovely Christmas story.

  25. naturegirl21

    I love those items that get passed down! I'm sure it will be difficult to pass himon but you will have many many years ahead with Lucky Santa :)

    Merry Christmas to you and your family

  26. Rachel mommyneedsavacation.com

    That Santa is beautiful Nichole!!! What a special gift to have from your mother!!! Merry Christmas! xoxo

  27. I love your take on the prompt. Such a beautiful post, too. Merry Christmas!

  28. Kim thechild-kim.blogspot.com/

    I'm just getting around to comment now. What a great treasure to inherit for your children to enjoy. We've been really enjoying some of the ornaments my husband's parents passed onto us from his childhood. It's wonderful to have some history to these inanimate objects. Hope you had a great Christmas.

  29. Karen Peterson apeekatkarensworld.com

    This is such a great post. Santa really does carry magic in his bag and I bet someday you'll want to give up this special gift to your daughter so that she and your grandchildren can enjoy him too.

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