When you ask your brother about his favorite Christmas memory from your shared childhood, you end up down a rabbit hole of nostalgia. You discover that his memory is way more vivid than yours, with details like the year you got the Cabbage Patch Kid and he got the Knight Rider Cutoff Challenge car racing set.
He reminds you about cutting down a tree with your dad each year, and about the Christmas morning you got up while it was still dark and sat whispering and giggling together on the hearth, trying not to wake your parents or touch the filled stockings.
He remembers a candle, one your mom never lit but brought out each year with the Christmas decorations. It was dark purple, berry scented with maybe a hint of pine, he recalls. I’ve tried my entire adult life to find a candle with that scent, he tells you, but even if I ever found it, it probably wouldn’t smell the same. You remember the smells and sounds and tastes signifying the coming of Christmas.
And you wonder together why that one candle was never lit, and why there is so much magic in those memories. The anticipation, the preparation, the excitement. And too soon your trip down memory lane is over, and life in the present beckons. There are deadlines to meet, bills to pay, a new job to find, a scary world to contemplate. But in that moment, you decide that this year for Christmas, you will give your brother one candle, dark purple and smelling of berries if you can find it, with instructions to light it every year.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. – John 1:5
– Lara Schopp