Thursday, December 17, 2015

Christmases Past

       My friend Willis, who I finished high school with, posted on face book the other day that his tree was decorated and things in the house were fixed up for Christmas. So, Willis was sitting back in his easy chair thinking about friends and "Christmases past".

       So even though we are elderly we still act like high school students and never miss a chance for a friendly dig. My comment on his face book post was "Ya, that's a lot of Christmases!" Like, you're old!!

       Well, I got thinking about Willis's comment. Yes, it's many Christmases. In my case 76 of them. The first ones I don't remember. However, I do remember the Christmases when I was a child and safe in the care of my parents.  They made Christmas interesting with baking, decorations, gifts and very festive meals. We also had community and church festivities. Christmas day was a long day of good food and visiting with neighbors and friends.

       In my late teens I was not tied as closely to family and spent more time in the holidays with friends. Once I left home the time for Christmas with family was shortened. You raced home just in time for Christmas. You missed all the Christmas preparations. Some of the excitement was gone as now you were an adult.

       Then came the first time I was not able to be home for Christmas. I was in the Arctic with many other young single people who were away from family. The 30 of us in the residence, got together and prepared a very festive meal. I'm sure many of us were thinking about home, but we had a very good time.

       Next, a new pattern was formed when I married. Problem! You can't get to both parents for the holidays so what do you do?  A couple of those dilemmas were solved when my wife had to work.

      When you have children of your own you start making your own traditions for the holidays. There's excitement about decorations, gifts, stories, songs and a special meal. Many of the things I did were what I learned from my parents.

       My kids live far away from me and they don't get home for Christmas. They have their own kids to make traditions.

      So , yes, we do have great memories and friends formed around Christmas. As we age the celebration of Christmas changes. Celebrations change with the times. 

     Now matter what, Christmas is a joyful time of the year.