Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!!!

Back in those olden days when I was a child, Christmas had a very different meaning than it does now. Christmastime was magic then, with twinkling lights reflecting in the eyes of children, and stories of the Christ Child keeping our focus off the presents under our tree. Mom and Grandma made sure we understood the Baby Jesus was the reason for all the gaiety, presents, and colored lights.

Now, in my golden years, reminiscence is the Christmas I celebrate in mind and spirit. No Grinches or Scrooges or Humbugs can discourage me. I remember the glory days of Christmas at Grandma and Grandpa's, days when all their children and grandchildren gathered in their small house. The scents and sounds of Christmas come back to me like a gift of memory: turkey cooking in Grandma's well used Westinghouse roaster; her secret recipe stuffing baking in the oven; frosted molasses squares resting fragrant amidst a cookie tray so loaded down with hand decorated treasures that the mind boggles now just thinking about it; a cacaphony of chatter and laughter while relatives talked at once in every corner of the house.

No Christmas is complete without recalling Mother's decorated packages. Even the most humble pair of socks came in a package so beautifully decorated that children hated to disturb the wrapping. Mom labored over wrapping every present for hours.
She created breathtaking winter scenes -- drawn first by hand, then finished with colored glitters. Santa Claus with his sleigh and reindeer flying through a night sky, a family of deer drinking from a stream meandering through snow drifts, a nativity scene so glorious it should have hung in the Louvre.

Mom's Christmas cookies were the same. No simple cookies ever graced her trays. Santas with white frosting beards and red candy sprinkle suits, Rudolphs with red sprinkle noses and colored lights hung around his neck, Christmas trees loaded down with lights and gifts, and Angels, stars, candy canes so beautiful that recipients were hesitant to bite into the creations.

No matter what my situation now, I never feel isolated, lonely, or blue at Christmas time. My mind takes me to those gentle places in the past where Mom and Grandma and Grandpa and family celebrated the Christ Child's birth by sharing their gifts of good food and decorated cookies. Merry Christmas and God bless us, every one.

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I enjoy good writing by writers and poets who are not famous. My mother said I was born a hundred years too late. The older I get, the more I realize how right she was.

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