Christmas Eve is a big deal for our family. We always have special treats like those sausage balls from the Bisquick box and the cookies that we’ve baked every year at Christmas time. We always go to the Christmas Eve service at church and the best services always have those little candles that make moms worry and that delight little boys because they get to play with hot wax.
Christmas Eve of 2001 was a little different for us. This year my mother was going to the Christmas Eve service with us. She had always gone to her own church, but this year she was too sick to drive herself. She was battling breast cancer and we didn’t know it, but this was to be her last Christmas with us.
So we went off to church and thoroughly enjoyed the service which let out just before midnight. We were on our way home when Mom said that she would really like a Slurpee. She had been having a terrible time keeping food down so whenever she expressed an interest in any kind of food, my husband would do whatever it took to get it for her.
So, a Slurpee…would 7-11 be open on Christmas Eve at midnight? We weren’t sure but there was a store on our way home. Sure enough, we stopped and they were open. We all piled out of the van – mom, dad, grandma and four kids. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the look on the clerk’s face as this crowd piled into his store to buy Slurpees on Christmas Eve.
My mom enjoyed her Slurpee that Christmas Eve. It was probably the last one she ever had because three months later she was gone.
Christmas Eve 2002 came along. We had the sausage balls again and we went off to church together again and we piled out of the car at 7-11 and had Slurpees in the middle of the night again – in honor of Mom.
And we’ve done it every year since then. Some of us don’t even like Slurpees. None of us ever get them at any other time of the year. But on Christmas Eve, we go to 7-11 in the middle of the night and we toast Mom with a Slurpee.
Merry Christmas, Mom!