Christmas is just around the corner

Christmas with Granny, circa 1948.

Christmas with Granny, circa 1948.

By SANDRA THAMES / Community Columnist

Christmas is not just for children. Yes, the gimma, gotcha stuff is geared to children, but that is not the real Christmas. Real Christmas lives in our hearts and not under a tree.

As a child I often participated in Christmas pageants at church or grammar school. I always knew my songs or speeches to perfection.

The look of pride and pleasure on my parents’ faces was the highlight of the night. The homemade costumes were very creative, thanks to my mother and Aunt Mary, and looking back I’ll bet a large portion of their Christmas was the gift of music that I gave to them.

Trips were a requirement of the season, so we’d go to Brewton for a big meal, usually held at Granny’s. Food, food, food. We didn’t swap gifts–too many folks–but rather the whole day was for family.

Tall tales were told near the gas space heater or fireplace, ideas exchanged, teasing, wishing, discussions of previous get-togethers, passing the newest baby around, gathering wood, clearing the table and washing what seemed like 500 plates, bowls and cooking utensils. Kids did the dishes. Ever see that now?

Pine trees for Christmas, holly and mistletoe fresh out of the woods, cut-out snowflakes, construction paper chains, a few red bows we kept from year to year and a collection of pine cones spray-painted a variety of colors and sprinkled with gold glitter made our Christmas.

Expensive gifts were not often given, but it was the thought behind the gift that counted. Being together was what counted–cooking, eating, catching up on the latest family news and sharing goals and dreams for the future.

Christmas past is a beautiful memory of love. I hope along the way my kids have been absorbing their own memories to share with their children and grandchildren someday.

This year I intend to do some more “absorbing” of my own–watching my grandchildren with their excited eyes and eager hands. That will be my Christmas gift.

Of course, the ultimate gift was and is Jesus Christ. Thank you Lord.