Tis The Season to be........Traditional
The Spirit of Hope, Love, Family and Joy
The Birth of Christ our Savior
My Winter Wonderland
Is The Traditional Christmas Obsolete?
When I think of the holiday season my mind normally goes back to a time when everything seemed simple. Maybe that is just the way I choose to remember the holidays. Across the street from ,my house was a basketball court that was turned int an ice skating ring in the winter. Oh the fun we had skating rink in the winter. Oh, the fun we had skating, falling down and getting right back up. I have five siblings and we were all bundled up in our hat, scarf and little mittens. The cold never bothered us. The whole neighborhood would be at that skating rink! The whole neighborhood was a HUGE family. I personally have five siblings. The neighborhood was everyone's sanctuary.
Just imagine the little store on the corner that the whole neighborhood looked upon as if the owner was everyone's grandfather. We could go to the store without money, knowing Mr. and Mrs Shepherd would run tabs for members of the community. Sometimes thew would just say don't worry about the money. The community understood that they were in it together. You could feel the love and unity; love was the norm. Togetherness, helping one another was a given in my neighborhood. Everyone knew everybody; the community was like a big happy family!
This picture that I can vividly remember encouraged me so much that for me to write this article is a challenge. I want you to smell the children smells, visualize the children playing. See how all the adults got together to make sure Santa got the letters from us all. When I look at the past I am amazed by the decoration, caroling, going from house to house; the Christmas music, the pure innocence of the season.
I can still remember taking a bath on Christmas Eve and all six of children putting on brand new pajamas and getting ready for, "Twas the Night before Christmas." Our little faces waiting in anticipation, although we all could recite the story word for word. During the reading we could smell all the different scents of cakes, cookies, pies, dressing, turkey, ham and all the trimmings being baked though out the house. The smells, the lights and tree are still ingrained in my mind. I can still I can still smell the scents and the warmth of family and LOVE. Nothing mattered in our little minds except the anticipation of Christmas.
I LOVED waking up and running to see what Santa brought us.....it never mattered what Santa brought.....it only mattered that Santa remembered to stop at my house. Christmas was never about the presents for me, it was GOD, FAMILY, COMMUNITY, AND FRIENDS!
Christmas morning, YEAH! We tore open the presents as momma sat there and watched us with such love on her face. It brings joy and tears to my eyes just thinking about those memories. That was just the beginning of our day, next was breakfast, even though we really were too excited to eat. We knew we had to eat before we went to church and to to Grandma's house. We all had to get dressed in our best holiday clothing; momma said, "It's important to dress for this day, this is a very important day----Our Lord JESUS was born."
We would all look at momma anxiously waiting, because we always walked to church. After church, we thought the fun would really begin. GRANDMA'S HOUSE.....everyone would be there and I mean everyone. Aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, brothers and sisters and babies. The house was overwhelmed with people, music and the smells; God the smells were intoxicating. We all sat and thanked God for blessings with another day of life and for having all this love in one place! I never wanted it to end; even today I still do not want the feel of Christmas to end.
Today, I look around and I see society trying to change Christmas into a day of going into debt. I see people working the entire year to pay off the previous Christmas, just to get back into debt the following year. I miss the feel, love and smells of Christmas. I miss the sledding, ice skating, my face getting so cold and still not wanting to go in the house. My mother always had enough hot chocolate and cookies for everyone that came home with us.
Many of the people that instilled the meaning of Christmas for me are gone now, and with them left those traditions for many of us. That has brought such sadness for me, that to date has not been filled. I sit and watch all the Christmas movies that fill my heart with such sadness, because those movies use to be my Christmas. The hop, love and true happiness reverberate throughout my entire existence. I need my Christmas of the past, but everyone is too busy, "doing me!"
"DOING ME," has now become a mantra for those who really mean I don't have to to stop and enjoy those around us.. "DOING ME," means Christmas has become like a drive through window......no time......I want it now.....hurry up.....got to go so I can; "DO ME!" This leaves the current generation with not knowing the importance of tradition and family and friends. I remember when everyone's favorite aunt had too much eggnog and it was alright because we were all family and friends. We ate, danced, drank watched Christmas movies and played with our Christmas presents until the children fell asleep, happy, tired and filled with love and joy. They mattered in this world......because we all mattered.
Today I try to bring Christmas in to my home. The children write letters to Santa Claus, we leave milk and cookies for Santa. I get up in the middle of the night and eat those cookies and drink the milk. The children in my house take part in making the cookies and pouring the milk and picking the table for Santa to find his treats. We turn our home into a winter wonderland on, and we watch Christmas movies while eating popcorn and drinking kool-aid. If we are short on money we teach our children to make their Christmas presents. The children goes with us to help pick out the Best Christmas tree for our home. They even pick out a tree for their table to decorate.
My children are taught the importance of giving and taking the time to be thankful, loving and forgiveness. You want to change our children then teach them the true meaning of Christmas. Let them know Christmas is not about getting the next Xbox, Play Station, Jordan's, cell phones, tablets. What about a bike, ice skate, roller skates etc......expensive does not mean love or tradition for that matter.
I want love, community, family and friends for our children....tale them on a sleigh ride, ice skating, cooking a a special dish. Let's bring back some traditions.......let's not leave our children with a box that have nothing inside but dust. I remember when the more was the merrier. Is it so important to, " DO ME AND TO HELL WITH EVERYONE ELSE!" Do you really want your child to believe that it is alright to simply care about self?
Yet, I still have hope that GOD is ultimately in control and we all will be HAPPY WHEN GOD CHANGES ALL TO WHAT IS IMPORTANT to all our survival. One day we will get it and the world will be a better place for us all. Let's start with family and community!
GOD BLESS AND HAVE A BEAUTIFUL TRADITIONAL HOLIDAY WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS!!!! DR. IMHOTEP