© 2010 Wanda L. Harrell
When I reflect on Christmases past, there are many recollections that immediately come to mind. My personal remembrances include a jar of hard candy in a Maxwell House Instant Coffee jar (the lid was red with a star on top) that was setting atop a player piano; my Uncle Claude dressed up as Santa, my breaking a tree ornament when my Aunt Sue was babysitting me (while my parents were Christmas shopping); my dad telling me I would get switches in my stocking if I wasn’t a good girl; singing Away in a Manger while peering at the Nativity scene on the Duncan Phyfe sideboard in the dining room; staring out at the starry sky through frosted windowpanes that had canned spray snow stencils upon them; keeping my hands warm in a white rabbit fur muff; the Christmas candle my Aunt Georgia made.
There was always excitement with the abundance of Rice Krispies Treats and homemade cookies; exchanging names in Sunday School and the Christmas program at church, watching my mom wrap gifts and curl ribbons on them, and singing Christmas carols at school. Delight overflowed when my parents began stringing blue outdoor Christmas lights and the reflection of those lights on the snow covered lawn. The anticipation increased when my parents took me to see Santa in the little log house on the square in my hometown, Hanover, Pennsylvania; my dad taking the Christmas tree down to the basement to allow the snow to melt before putting it up to decorate; watching my 6’4” dad place the star on top of the tree; and in sixth grade, creating a candle holder from a small log and filling CARE boxes for those less fortunate in another part of the world.
As far as gifts are concerned, there is always the memory of my only attempt at sneaking a peek at a gift that turned out to be a red leather Bible; a green plastic box filled with barrettes from my Aunt Goldie; my last doll, an Annie Oakley figure in her cowgirl outfit, including hat and gun; a Jon Gnagy drawing kit; a Monopoly game and good ol’ Lincoln Logs.
However, most clearly of all, I remember the happiness, laughter, and the sweet, sweet feeling of love from family and friends.
I wish each of you a blessed Christmas season filled with the important gifts, those that cannot be boxed or wrapped, the gifts of love from family and friends, sharing laughter and, last but not least, joy of spirit.