by Debra Vernon
By the time you read this, Christmas 2021 will have come and gone. More than likely, the latest and greatest toy you bought for your child(ren) has already been cast aside, as they create imaginary forts and dungeons out of the cardboard boxes their gifts came in.
I bet you spent a great deal of time preparing lots of food for consumption by family and friends. You cannot go wrong with food! It is a universal need that bonds hearts and souls around a table. And, more than likely, there were Christmas decorations inside and outside, along with the requisite Christmas tree. I confess, putting up those decorations seems a lot more fun than taking them down. Especially when it comes to that tree! I have an artificial one and trying to get that thing to fit back in the box it came in is practically impossible. It is like trying to get my chunky self into that swimsuit I wrote about a few months ago: stuff busting out in every direction!
One of the long-standing jokes between my daughter and me during the Christmas season has to do with a gift I purchased for her probably 10 years ago. Young women always want to look their best before leaving the house, and she is no different. Although there was a large mirror in her bathroom, I decided I would purchase a full-length mirror to hang on the back of her bedroom door. This would provide an opportunity for her to check out the “total effect” of her wardrobe and makeup selections. I knew it would be a hit, and not hit my wallet too hard either. So, I purchased it a few weeks before the big day and hid it until Christmas Eve.
That night, I circled through all the hiding spots I had stashed gifts in. Even in her early 20’s, that girl would rummage while I was away at work, so I had several secret caches to hide stuff in. I had gathered the goods and placed them near the tree. I then remembered I had purchased the mirror. I went to the usual hiding places; no mirror. I searched in the “not so usual” hiding places; no mirror. I tore the house up (quietly) looking for the mirror; no mirror. Where was the mirror?
Exhaustion finally ended my search for the evening. I figured I would recall the location by the next morning, and all would be well. Christmas morning came and went, and I still could not find the mirror. Now, I could understand if this were a small trinket of some kind, easily tucked away in a drawer or closet. But this mirror was probably fifteen inches wide, and about 4 feet long. You cannot just tuck that away somewhere unless that somewhere is a pretty big spot! And I am the one who hid it! Why could I not remember where I put it? I do recall thinking at the time that it was a good spot she would not think to look in. Too bad I would not think to look there again myself.
I checked the usual spots again, along with closets and under all beds. I even checked between the mattress and box spring of the bed in the spare bedroom; no mirror. Our house has a hip roof, so there really is not an attic, but I climbed on a ladder and lifted the hatch to look up there too; no mirror. I called family members to see if perhaps I had asked them to store it at their house; no mirror. Where was the mirror?
She got married and moved out not long after that Christmas. And believe it or not, the mirror has not been located all these many years later. Each year we ask ourselves, “where is the mirror” and laugh and ponder where it may be. We have searched places too small or too obscure to be the hiding spot, but we are optimistic it will be found one day! But by this time, I suspect we may never locate it. And do you know what? That is okay. I mean, it has become a cherished family tradition; searching for the elusive missing mirror. Not exactly a Hallmark movie moment, but hey, our family is a bit off-kilter anyhow, you know?
So, the next time you put something in a place where you are SURE you will remember it, think of me. You too may find yourself wondering; where is the mirror?