*That* time of year again?
The turkey's been devoured, thanks has been given, and Black Friday came and went. Tis the season now. We've put up Christmas lights outside, but I haven't gotten around to putting up the tree yet.
Yeah, tis the season. But when did the season turn into such a huge, expensive, commercial *thing*? People going into debt up to their eyeballs, frantic searches for the latest and greatest, and stressed out, miserable consumers. When?? When did we forget that this is a season of joy and peace? Good will toward men? The birth of Jesus? Away in a manger? Remember that?
I'm going nostalgic now.
I look back on Christmas as a child, and it makes me sad. I didn't have a wish list that consisted of several pages and hundreds (or thousands) of dollars. Each year, there was that ONE special toy I wanted. We didn't "celebrate" Christmas at home (Mom's religion), but Popsy insisted on a compromise. There was no Christmas tree or decorations, but there would be gifts and a celebration at Mamaw's.
We went to my paternal grandmother's house on Christmas Eve every year. The house was FULL because all of my aunts, uncles, and 9 cousins were there, along with Mom, Popsy, my brother, and me. We had a HUGE dinner, we opened TWO gifts (one from grandma and one from drawing names among the cousins), and then we went outside and the uncles (and my Popsy) helped us shoot fireworks.
Mamaw always made different candies...divinity, fudge, and the still popular "doo-doo candy". It's a date loaf (kinda like pralines with dates), but my oldest female cousin nicknamed it that one year when she walked in the kitchen before Mamaw got it cut into pieces. To this day, Mamaw still gets requests for "doo-doo candy", because even though we grandkids are in our 30s and 40s now, the name STILL stuck.
One year my two youngest male cousins got matching battery-operated firetrucks and fireman hats with sirens and lights on them. Back in the '70s, batteries must've worked differently than they do now. The batteries got put into one of the trucks backwards, so the truck ran in reverse. The grown-ups tried to fix it, but that cousin burst into tears. He *wanted* it to go backwards.
My brother and I got ONE gift each from our parents back then. There are two that really stand out in my mind.
When I was around 4, I wanted a "Baby Tender Loves" doll more than anything on earth. I had talked about it (apparently) to everyone who'd listen. That Christmas Eve, one uncle was flying in from Cali, and another uncle thought he'd be funny. I grew up surrounded by people with a sick sense of humor. Not-so-funny uncle walked in at my grandma's and said that he'd heard on the radio that Uncle B's plane had collided with Santa's sleigh, and there were "Baby Tender Loves" flying everywhere. I was DEVASTATED, sobbing uncontrollably until my Popsy convinced me that Not-so-funny was fibbing. I remember glaring at not-so-funny every time I saw him for the rest of the night. The next morning I woke up, and there on the sofa was my beloved baby doll. I played with that thing for years and eventually the velvety coating rubbed off in spots. My brother got one of the worst whippings of his life over that doll b/c he said she was ugly and threatened to bury her in the woods. I wish I could find another one b/c I don't know what ever happened to her. I outgrew playing with dolls, and she disappeared. Maybe he did bury her. grr... I wouldn't put it past him. I wonder if he'd 'fess up if he did.
Another year, I was awed by music. I wanted an organ so desperately, but I didn't dare ask for one b/c that was too expensive. I watched so closely anytime I saw one being played. That Christmas morning, I awoke to find an organ and book sitting in the dining room, just for me. My Popsy and Mom must've gotten rich! They must've read my mind! Funny how kids think. I played that organ until it finally died sometime in my teens.
THAT was the time of "Merry" Christmas. As you go rush off to the mall or fill up those cyber shopping carts, try to remember what this season's *supposed* to be about.