Reminiscin Christmas

Written By Galen White

Today I find myself with a little bit of Ebenezer Scrooge in me. I mean, look at what Christmas has become. Folks gettin’ trampled to death by a hoard of selfish idiots determined to get in line first and grab the sale item before someone beats ’em to it. Drivers allowin’ road rage to blind them to rational thinking and causin’ auto accidents that leaves someone mourning the death of a family member. Nuts cases killing a multitude of people with a barrage of gunfire in a shopping mall. Yes, sir, ol’ Ebenezer may have good reason to say “Bah! Humbug!”

But then I begin to reminisce about my Christmas’ past. Suddenly, I can plainly hear my mom remindin’ me of the real reason for the season. “Don’t let the bright lights and gift-givin’ blind you to the birth of Christ”, she’d say. And I don’t. At least, I try not to.

However, it is quite easy to be taken in by all the seasonal hoopla. On the other hand and if you lived a past as I have, your memories will serve to help temper the strain of the holiday season.

For me, it all began when I was knee-high to a grasshopper and my dad and I, and on occasion a brother or two, would walk into the woods or along a fence line lookin’ for a respectable cedar to be used as a Christmas tree. Although pines were plentiful, they just didn’t have the fullness needed to serve properly.

One particular instance I remember was my Uncle Lonnie climbin’ a rather large cedar tree and cuttin’ the top out. They were going to cut the tree later on to split for fence posts, so why not use the top as a Christmas tree! If I recollect, it was one of the prettiest we ever had.

Decoratin’ the tree was not my forte; Mom did most of that although I helped on occasion. I can remember hangin’ strings of popcorn and a few extremely thin glass balls that broke into a billion pieces if you looked at it cross-eyed! In addition, we would hang pine cones that had been spray painted in various colors. The sole string of lights was made with bulbs as big as hicker nuts. And remember the tinfoil icicles that draped over the limbs?

Well, as I said, decoratin’ the tree was not my forte; but checkin’ out the gifts underneath was! In fact, I was rather good at it! Who knows how many times my mom or dad would catch me shakin’ and rattlin’ a gift tryin’ to figure what it was, and then threaten me to within an inch of my life if they caught me doin’ it again. I sure an glad they didn’t keep count and their “inch of my life” was long enough for me to survive.

Then I grew up and had a couple kids of my own. Folks, there ain’t nothin’ in the world quite like seein’ your kids wake up the mornin’ after Santa had visited. The expressions on their faces as well as the shouts of “AWESOME” and “OH, MAN! LOOK AT WHAT I GO!”, are forever etched in my vault of memories.

Now that I’m a grandpa, I get to relive some of that joy when I see my grandkids during Christmas. And it’s not only witnessin’ their expressions and hearin’ their excitement that makes it so spectacular; it is watchin’ the faces and reactions of their parents. What joy it brings to me when I see them elated with the happiness that was mine a few years ago. If you are blessed in such a way, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Folks, there is simply no way my words on this page will clearly describe my emotions. Part of me wants to shout out loud in joy while another part wants to break down and cry with thankfulness. Maybe that’s part of what makes this time of year so special.

Here’s wishin’ you and yours a Very Merry Christmas! May this Christmas celebration be forever etched in your memory as one of your most joyful!

 

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Galen WhiteGalen White has written articles for several papers in North Louisiana and is now retired.

 

 

 

 

 

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