Feeling of love always remembered at Christmas

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas to all of you today! I hope your day and this week are filled with love, family and friends. It seems for several weeks and months now the news has been filled with bad news, bank robberies resulting in an officer killed, news releases of “famous” people saying things that offend others, politicians blatantly ignoring the wishes of their supporters and the list goes on and on.

For just this little brief moment in time, we all need to stop and think about what is really important to us and enjoy this holiday season. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or another holiday this season, take a minute everyday to enjoy your season and your family.

As much as I miss my late husband, David, during different parts of the year, he is never more on my mind than during the Christmas holidays. Being a neat freak, it was especially painful for him when I decorated. My routine is to bring in every container of decorations from storage and empty everything out in the middle of the living room and then start, usually taking several day to get done. His job was the lights on the tree, and we argued every year about whether or not to go around the tree or up and down, and it didn’t matter what we decided on the next year, we argued about it again. All those Rockwell images of moms and dads drinking cocoa, not sure where those came from, but our tree decorating required beer on his part and wine on mine. Then there was this wonderful blissful moment when the tree was decorated, the dishes were changed out to holiday dishes (yes, I do that), the house was completely decorated and we would sit and enjoy the lights and quiet at night when all of the kids were in bed.

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I’ve gotten a lot of grief from young moms over the fact that I make fun of the Elf on the Shelf, he’s creepy to me but I’m sure one of my grandchildren will have one and then I will think he is wonderful. I watch young parents now and I am reminded how much fun those Christmas mornings actually were with wrapping paper ripping, children screaming over each other for attention, grandparents filming and David drinking his coffee. Some of my favorite memories of Christmas are more comical than sentimental.

There’s the year, anticipating impending rain, that Santa stayed up all night assembling Emily’s Little Tykes playset in the den, only to realize two days later, when the sun was shining that those aren’t meant to ever be taken apart. It took him and Bobby longer to take it apart and move it than it ever did to assemble.

There’s the Christmas when a very young Holly turned to me and said, “I love Santa Claus, he is wonderful. How come you and daddy don’t give us presents?” David Hall spit coffee all the way across the room, I think that’s the closest he ever came to telling the Santa secret. The next year we started the tradition that everything in your stocking is from mama and daddy, all the presents under the tree are from Santa, a tradition we continue to this day.

So enjoy every minute of your time with family and friends, tuck every little memory away and relax. I promise you what your children remember later on is not that every corner of the house was perfect, but the feeling of love and togetherness that they grew up with.

Merry Christmas from my home to yours.


Christina Hall writes a food column for The Democrat. She can be reached at christina.hall@natchezdemocrat.com.