Christmas Past, Present, and Future

For those of us who observe Christmas (please insert your personal Holiday observance; if I try to name them all I know I will miss something), the season can run the gamut of hustle and bustle, stress, sadness and depression, giving, hope, joy, and love just to name some of the many experiences and emotions that engulf us during this season. Since this will be my last post in 2016, I decided to reflect on my personal Christmas experiences of the past and present as well as express my hopes for the future.

Christmas Past: My fondest childhood Christmas memories involve waking up on Christmas morning and running to the tree to see what Santa had left. Then my sisters and I would rip into the wrapped gifts under the tree. After a while, we would get ready and go to Grandma Verlie’s where one half of my family would gather for the noon meal. There would be enough food to feed a starving Santa and all the reindeer with enough left over to take back to the elves and Mrs. Claus at The North Pole. Then there would be more ripping open of wrapped gifts under the tree. Then it was on to my other grandparents’ house for the evening meal. Again, there would be enough food to make you dizzy, and there would always be Grandma’s red velvet cake. Of course, more ripping into wrapped gifts would follow. For many years, we would all pack into a car and go to a nearby farm in the rural countryside to see one of the most magnificent displays of Christmas lights I have ever seen. The most remarkable thing about the whole day and what I miss most is that for one day the entire families (grandparents, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins) would all come together under one roof for a few joyful hours.

Christmas Present: My husband and I have recently arrived home after what seems like an extended road tour. The tour started on December 12 with a trip to Chicago to visit our daughter. The weather there cooperated nicely for our visit. On this trip, we were treated to a tour of the Frank Lloyd Wright house and museum.

Frank Lloyd Wright home and museum in Oak Park. I look cold. (Image property of Sheila Welborn)

Our visit to Chicago was wonderful and much too short. After returning home, we took another road trip to finish up some last minute Christmas shopping. We topped off the evening with a Christmas candlelight tour of Körner’s Folly in Kernersville, NC. After spending a few hours on Christmas Eve with some extended family, we then pointed our vehicle east to spend Christmas Day with our daughter and son-in-law. It was a hectic but wonderful Christmas. I plan to spend as much time as possible the next few days making sure the couch is firmly affixed to its spot on the floor and that my TV still offers endless hours of mindless “entertainment.”

Caesar

A special thanks to my Christmas Angels for checking on Caesar every day while we were out of town.

Christmas Future: I wish for future generations to have the memories I have of Christmases past. Life is so fast-paced now that we don’t seem to have time to just enjoy the season. Long gone are the days when the stores downtown would stay open late and twinkling lights and holiday music would fill the sidewalks. Now, it is the hustle and bustle of busy malls with parking and traffic nightmares and stores that compete to see which one can stay open the longest. Online shopping, while better than mall shopping, has replaced the sheer delight of being downtown with friends and neighbors during this special season. I know I am reflecting on the memories of a child, but children grow up to become adults with childhood memories. I hope everyone has the opportunity this year to make some special Christmas memories for the future.

For now, I wish all of you more peace, joy, happiness, hope, and love than your heart can hold!