Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Ghosts of Christmas Past
Some of things I miss from my Christmas past:
1. Thriving downtown communities. As a kid, several stores would be open late in the night, and it seems some of my best Christmas memories involve walking between my parents, snow falling, bells ringing, and Santa. There was magic on every corner. Those stores are now closed. We rush to the malls, and even though I am never one to complain about going to the mall, it just isn't the same. Too sterile.
2. Not being able to sleep on Christmas morning just from anticipation.
3. All my grandparents being here.
4. Believing in something larger than myself
5. Christmas caroling with my church choir. We rode on the back of an old truck and sang through the neighborhoods. Yeah, that was fun, but the hot chocolate and popcorn that followed were incredible.
6. Hobo Stew. I really miss this tradition, and I wonder how I can bring it back for my kids. My church family met the Saturday before Advent, and each household would bring a can of something that was soup worthy. As we decorated the tree and the windows, my grandfather, the minister, would make his famous soup or what we called hobo stew. The older ladies would be baking cornbread muffins. The scent in the church was amazing, and the feeling of fellowship still lingers in my heart.
7. Being in plays. Oh, I hated it when it was happening, but I would love to be an angel again or maybe a shepherd. I remember coming out of the back room and yelling at my grandmother, "Look, Mamaw, I am angel. I am flying!!!!"
8. Getting that one perfect gift: Cabbage Patch Dolls, Garfield toys, my first Walkman. Okay, maybe it isn't about the gifts, but come on, we all have different gifts that just made the world seem wonderful. I understand Ralphie's need for that gun, and I understand why he was sleeping with it on Christmas night.
9. Santa calling me. We have lost touch and I miss him. Santa Baby, if you are reading this...call me.
10. And the unifying theme: magic, magic, magic. I remember being on my back looking up at the Christmas tree and it was the most amazing thing I have ever seen. I had to be about three. When I was four, Christmas fell on a Saturday. After all the gifts were opened, my dad turned on the television, and there was Scooby-Doo. Christmas and Scooby-Doo!!!!! All in the same day!!!! It doesn't get any better than that.
May you embrace all the wonder of your Christmas past, and may hope, belief, and magic dwell in your heart forever.