By Nancy McAtavey
On this last afternoon of the year, I light my window candles early. I do not want darkness in my home tonight. As I walk from room to room, turning on each white bulb, I am flooded with memories of Christmastime.
When I was young, as young as I can remember, my Aunt Kitty and I would move through the rooms of the big white house at 45 New York Street, plugging in each electric candle, watching as the orange bulbs filled each room with a soft glow.
Then, I would sit in the big chair by the front room window and wait for my mother’s car to turn onto our street from Broadway. I could tell by the darkness outside when it was time for her to come home from work, to gather me up in her arms and walk me the short distance across the street to where we lived.
Outside my window, Christmas snow is on the ground. The colors of the day are fast changing to the black and white and gray of this winter evening. The windows are lit; the spotlight shines on the front door.
Tonight, at midnight, the Spirit of the New Year will be able to see my house as he turns the corner onto my quiet street. He will be able to slip through the front mail slot, glide beneath the storm doors and wedge around the drafty windows.
Welcome, Spirit of the New Year. Please keep my family healthy, safe and wrapped in light. And embrace my friends and neighbors with the happiest of new years!