"The earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof;
the world and they that dwell therein."
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Christmas is the time of memories for those of us who have experienced many decades of celebrating the birth of our Savior. Usually our Christmases at home as I was growing up were separated into two distinct occasions - the Christmas celebration with special Christmas music and stories at Church, and the celebration at home that consisted of carefully spending our meagre savings on little gifts for the other five siblings and our parents. Christmas cards were a rarity - I remember receiving Great-aunt Rose's handmade cards, but I don't remember too many others. In later years, Mother and Daddy made a few veneer cards out in the shop, which were given to a favored few. The tree was usually purchased very close to Christmas, and then set up on Christmas Eve after Daddy spent a frustrating time constructing a wooden stand and nailing the tree to the bottom. We decorated with the few electric lights, homemade decorations, a few store-bought unbreakable things, and the tinsel, placed one strand at a time on the boughs so that the tree glittered when the lights were turned on. (The lights weren't the tiny ones we have today - they had large oblong bulbs in various colors.) Our gifts to each other were privately wrapped, using the paper and perhaps a bow saved from the years before. We left our biggest stockings on the couch with a carefully worded letter to Santa Clause, and then went to bed in bedrooms warmed a bit from the fire in the living room, hoping for miracles in the morning. It was always a wonder on Christmas morning that there were more gifts under the tree, and our stockings were full of ribbon candy, chocolate drops, nuts still in the shell, and perhaps an apple or an orange. There was also a letter from Santa Claus. So, we believed in Santa Claus, but we also knew the real Christmas story, and the significance in our lives. The Nativity and the gifts from Santa Claus dovetailed nicely in our innocent childhood. We don't have a real tree any more, but daughters sent us some real greens with other beautiful flowers, so that we could remember the smell of Christmas. Nostalgia figures strongly in our Christmas memories.