Ah Christmastime! Some little kid will reluctantly go to the big, once-a-year get-together at a relative's house, and then not feel good and be made to lie down in a relatives' bedroom. The bedroom is frightening and cold, and lying there in the dark is very lonely.
For one little girl named Barbara, that spare bedroom is also being used
as a coat room. Guests will come in and toss coats on the bed,
sometimes noticing a little form in the bed after throwing a coat on
her, but more often, not seeing her at all. She is embarrassed anyway.
She tries to figure out who everyone is by their voices, but is not
very good at it. It is boring in that room!
The coats pile on
higher and higher atop the little girl, and she doesn't seem to know
enough to move them off of her. Furs used to be a show of status, and
those smelly, heavy coats were the worst to have stacked on the pile.
Everyone else is having a good time and the little girl lies there
feeling forgotten. She is forgotten! She finally, carefully gets up,
making sure not to muss the coats, deciding she feels better and tries
to join the group.
She walks timidly, feeling unwelcome, and
tearfully stands near her parents who seem surprised to see her and ask
her why she left the room; as if putting her in a bed in an unfamiliar
house was a good way of getting a break from their little, pitiful child
who was spoiling the party with her attitude. They tell her to go back
under the covers and she obeys, returns to the room and slips back
under the coats, crying to herself, knowing they do not want her to ruin
Finally, the room with the coats becomes too much to
bear and she finds the strength to resurface and go back out to the
party. She insists she is all right and refuses to return to that room
with ominous coats. I remember nothing else of that Christmas party, but the coats and the cold room are etched in my memory forever!
Here's to happier parties for you and your children this holiday season!