Saturday, December 02, 2006

The Ghosts of Christmas Past

As Christmas time approaches, I get rather nostalgic when I think about Christmases in the past. I love Christmas. Always have, always will. I think sometimes we lose sight of the real meaning of the holiday, but I still recall what it is all about and enjoy all aspects of the season to the fullest.
When I was a kid, we NEVER had an artificial tree. Dad always went shopping for our huge tree. He would bring it home, trim it to fit the stand, and then lug the monster into the living room. Sometimes, it was so crooked that he had to wire it to the curtain rod, but by the time he got it anchored, it was as straight as an arrow. Then he began to put on the lights. This was when my bro and I usually slinked away and hid until Mom gave us the "all clear" signal. Dad and lights were not patient with each other. Then we all decorated the tree. Mom would let Bro and I toss the icicles on from afar, then when we left the room, Mom would patiently straighten them out so they hung just right.
I remember when I was about 9 or 10, I got the neatest set of cap guns. I had admired them in our local "general" store for at least two months. There on Christmas morning, under the tree, were the gold plated, holsters and two "six" shooters. I was the toughest cowboy in the neighborhood. (By the way, I still have them.)
I remember going to Grandpa's on Christmas. Seems like I always got a flashlight every year. And pajamas! Thank God for grandparents who remember it is polite and proper to wear pajamas!
I remember how Tilly broke out in some sort of rash the first Christmas we were married. I didn't know she was alergic to pine sap, so from that time on, we have always had to have an artificial tree.
I remember the Christmas when Professor was about 2, she went to the midnight service with us. I was in the choir and looked out and there she stood, holding her candle, singing "Silent Night." I still choke trying to sing that carol.
I remember when Little Bro's teacher called us just to tell about him telling a little girl in the 2nd grade the whole story of the meaning of Christmas: "it's was Jesus' birthday." The little girl had never heard the Christmas Story before!
I remember when Prof was old enough to read the Christmas Story, from the King James version of the Bible, Luke: 2. I was both amazed and touched! I still am!
I remember the Christmas Day that the temperature plummeted to -25F and we had to drive the old Pinto to Grandma's because the "good" car wouldn't start. We piled in, 4 people, a turkey and all the trimmings, and gifts for everyone, and headed out. The driver's side door latch was broke, so we held the door closed with a "bungie" tarp strap.
I remember the first Christmas after my mom passed away. We laughed, we cried and we had a ball raising a toast to all Christmases past.
Everyone! Have a great Christmas. Yes, Christmas. Not "holiday." After all, "Jesus is the reason for the season."

1 comment:

Professor said...

Oh god- I so remember the Pinto Christmas. I was gonna write about that too! Cap guns, eh? Cool! And i always wondered why we never had real trees! Now I know!