COLUMN: Memories of past Christmases

When discussing how soon Christmas will be here with anyone my age and older, the trending topic seems to be that it gets here faster each year. While Lynn and I were decorating the outside of our house this past weekend I remarked while bringing bins of lights from the basement, that it seemed that I just put them back down there a couple of weeks ago. As the Christmas season seems to arrive sooner each year, it also makes it harder to get in the “spirit” so to speak.

However, looking back many years ago, Christmas Day would seem to be eons away. As Thanksgiving Day was celebrated you would enjoy the great food, but as a young child, Christmas was on your mind. The weeks of school between Thanksgiving and Christmas seemed to take forever to pass. Even when Christmas vacation started, the days before Christmas arrived would just drag by.

In days past, the celebration of Christmas did not begin until after Thanksgiving. The Santa Claus at E.R Roberts store would go up in the window. He would spend the next few weeks waving at those passing through downtown. Santa Claus would also make an early visit riding atop the fire truck in the parade.

As the days to Christmas grew closer I can remember going to the Western Auto and looking at bikes, trucks, wagons, and other items so that we could tell Mamma and Daddy what we wanted Santa Claus to bring to our house on Christmas Eve. We were not as heavily influenced by TV, since we didn’t spend so much time in front of it, as kids do now. Thus, we were not always up to date on what the latest toy happened to be. In addition, the gifts we received at Christmas were more special since that was when the good stuff arrived.

Nevertheless, eventually the Christmas play at church would take place the Sunday night before Christmas. The boys would wear the bathrobes and do their best to be good shepherds, kneeling by the manger. The top spot was to be Joseph, but the shepherds were important as well. With the play finished, you could hardly wait for Christmas Eve.

Christmas Eve would finally come, of course you could never go to sleep, and the night seemed so long, waking up your parents before dawn, having to go back to bed for a little while longer. Those are good memories, and the memories I now have of my own children as they celebrated Christmas. God willing, we will make many more.

Randy Garrison is the president and publisher of the Hartselle Enquirer.

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