Article is about Christmas on the Old Mill Village in Thomaston, Georgia in 1958
(Published in the Upson Home Journal December, 1993)
It's hard to believe December is here again and eager youngsters await Santa making his yearly journey. In spite of all of the commercialization of this season, Christmas is so special to children.
In 1958, I vividly remember one Christmas. I was in the 8th grade and living on the Old Mill Village in Thomaston, Georgia. Although I knew that there would be little this particular Christmas for me or my sister, I did know that dad would do the best he could to provide what gifts he could.
We were living on 2nd Street in East Thomaston in what is called a shotgun house. You know the story, if you stand in the front of the house and fire a shotgun, it would go all the way through the house.
Yes, we had a Christmas tree decorated with ornaments that mom kept year after year. I remember going with my dad to the halfway house to buy fireworks. They were legal at that time.
This particular Christmas, I remember the big gift I got. It was a Timex watch with a real second hand on it. I think it cost $6 or $8 and my dad bought it from Reeves Drug Store in town. I remember going to town with him each Saturday so he could pay one dollar on it.
At that time a dollar was a lot of money to my family anyway. I shall never forget the excitement I felt when he paid it out. But of course it had to be carried home and wrapped for me by mother and placed under the tree for Christmas morning.
When school started back after Christmas, I was so proud to wear that watch. As I think back over that Christmas, it is with much thankfulness, and a lot of sentimental feelings.
My dad died March 21, 1992 and I don't have him any more to make me feel so special, safe and secure. I suppose I was lucky because he lived to be almost 86 years old. I had lost mom on my birthday, November 11, 1981, some 11 years before.
Christmas stirs within us all different kinds of emotions. Many of us have good memories while others have pain and sorrow. For some Christmas reminds them of the death a loved one and they feel such emptiness. Others choose to remember only bad memories. I would challenge all of us to take this holiday and try and make it into something beautiful.
We choose to be glad or sad. Sure all of us have had some bad times. If we decide only to focus on those, it is certain that we will feel blue or depressed. Don't get me wrong, I do feel it is okay to visit those bad times, but we don't won't to spend much time there. If we make a conscious effort to be cheerful and try and take some steps that are positive then we will feel better.
For those that have recently experienced the breakup of a marriage, a death, or some other serious loss or problem, I would say what Ann Keimel stated in one of her books years ago, "Let go and Let God." And for those of us that know people like that--be kind, sweet, and loving to them. They need it.
All of us need to remind ourselves that love comes from Christ and that Christmas is a celebration of his birthday.In closing, a few days ago I bought Gloria Estefan's Christmas CD, I Want To See Christmas in Your Eyes. She co-wrote the song with Diane Warren. I am sure few people have heard it. I think it is destined to become a classic. It is about longing again to see Christmas in the eyes of that little child that we once were.
Listen to the words of this song and see if it reminds you of that child.
Till I had you I didn't knowThat I was missing out
Had to grow up and see the worldThrough different shades of doubt
Give me one more chance to dream againThrough your young heart
If only for one day let me try
I see the rain, you see the rainbow hiding in the clouds
Never afraid to let your love show
Won't you show me howWanna learn how to believe again
Find the innocence in me again
Through your young heart
Help me find a way, help me try
I wanna see Christmas through your eyes
I want everything to be the way it used to be
Back to being a child again thinking the world is mine
I wanna see Christmas , Christmas through your eyes
It is my sincere wish that this Christmas will be the merriest that you've ever known and that you will be able to experience Christmas through the eyes of that child.