The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

Gift From The Magi

By Margaret S. Mahaffey © 1987

Issue: December, 1987

Christmas in the mountains at the old farmhouse was to be our first, with just the three of us. Our son, Alan, had died in the fall of the year.

The professionals tell us that we families should do things differently on holidays after experiencing a trauma such as this. A true test of our Christmas spirit, to be sure.

I traveled the distance to our place in the Blue Ridge Mountains, in Meadows of Dan, Virginia, in the morning of the 23rd, carrying the trimmings and goodies. My husband, Curtis, was to arrive later in the day.

Curtis and I arose early on the morning of the 24th to set about getting the old farmhouse in a Christmas spirit, building a fire in the huge fireplace. The chill of snow hung in the crisp mountain air.

I busied myself hanging the decorations, putting the red candle lights in all of the windows. It was truly beginning to look like Christmas.

A neighbor, Ms. Lillian Hill, stopped by, bringing a huge homemade cedar wreath made with real nuts and berries for the door. My husband came bringing in our first mountain Christmas tree.

Our daughter, Lisa, arrived later in the day. Although Lisa is 23, with eyes shinning like a child having her first Christmas, she was overcome with happiness.

Early in the evening, with the Christmas lights gleaming and Christmas music softly playing, it began to snow, and snow it did, all night long. We awakened to a truly unforgettable "White Christmas."

We didn't have a horse drawn sleigh, but we did take a ride over the mountains, and through the wood, over the virgin snow. A White Christmas was come to us - one of love, peace and joy. We also knew that Alan was very much with us.

Surely, this was our gift from the "Magi."