Now the night for the program at church was only one day away. Mama was baking in the kitchen. Christmas music came from the radio; little boys and girls were singing Joy to the World. Charlotte pulled a chair up to the radio table, climbed up and turned the radio around to one side so she could look into the back.
"Mama! Charlotte's playing with the radio!" called Wanda. "She's about to pull it off the table!"
Mama hurried from the kitchen, wiping flour on her apron. "What are you doing?" she asked Charlotte.
"I'm trying to see the boys and girls in the radio. Do you hear them?" She leaned close to the radio and tried to look inside. Mama laughed and said they would have to be very tiny to fit in there.
The next day passed slowly for Charlotte. She snooped around under the Christmas tree that she and Wanda had decorated. It was an ordinary cedar tree, taken from a fence row, a little flat on one side, but when scooted up against the wall, it looked fine. They didn't have much to put on the tree: a few old colored glass balls, a wrinkled tinsel garland, and icicles saved from years gone by. Mama had put a piece of cotton quilt batting around the base of the tree to look like it was standing in snow. Several times during the day Wanda threatened Charlotte by reminding her of the switches the boy had told Santa to bring.
Mama fixed an early supper and they all dressed warmly before walking to the church for the program. Charlotte wore her best pair of corduroy pants to keep her warm.
She had never seen such a tall Christmas tree! It actually touched the ceiling and was covered from top to bottom with beautiful glass balls, popcorn garland, and paper chains. Every branch had new, glistening icicles, and underneath the tree were packages wrapped in pretty tissue papers and tied with crinkled ribbons....
Do you remember the anticipation you felt as a child while waiting for Christmas? Did you snoop and peek?