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Christmas

Posted by Thomas Ault on November 26, 2018 at 1:20 PM
Nostalgia comes from time to time, and it is especially true at this time of year. I tend to reminisce more during the late fall season that any other time. Thinking back of when a Christmas tree was a real one because there weren't anything fake than even resembled a real tree. When the downtown was decorated and all of the stores decorated their windows, every department store tried to outdo their competitor with special automated and extravagant displays. How glorious it was to go downtown... sometimes with my older brother, but more often with my mother or my grandmother holding my hand. (There weren't any shopping centers) There was always a big crowd where Santa sat listening to all of us kids as we told him what we wanted for Christmas, even when we were old enough to know that Santa might be our mom or dad. Why should we have let on that we knew any better? Then there was the strolling minstrels singing their Christmas repertoire while smiling brightly in honor of Christ's birthday or sometimes bawdy songs of the New Year with the cheer for the season. Church was filled with Christmas Carols, stories of the first Christmas and everyone seemed to be friendly and good will was everywhere. People greeted others with cheery greetings, even folks they didn't know. Many times the snow was falling, but no one seemed to be bothered by it much. Many of the streets were not paved so cars that ran on them and then came onto the main streets of town, brought along the mud from where they had come from...we didn't care, love was everywhere! None of us knew we were poor. We all thought that we were equal. We had some well to do shop owners across the street from our house who were just everyday folks. All of us were neighbors and if there were any of those "higher-than-mighty" types, I don't recall seeing them. Maybe they were perched somewhere that I could not see them, but I have to admit I don't recall. Even the owner of the department store in our town was jovial and enjoying the season, even with the long hours he and the other merchants had to endure. Now it is today...most of those old downtown stores are closed and moved, or the windows that held those wonderful displays are bricked up. The streets are not bustling with people anymore as the stores have all moved to "more convenient" locations. The store owners aren't as cordial and happy as they seemed to be in the days gone by. Shopping centers are open all hours of the day and night. Holidays when families used to crowd around the table or into the living room to be together and enjoy what they had, now are talking on their cell phones, listening with speakers stuck in their ears to music that seems to have no words and sometimes no "music," or just keeping busy and complaining about the work he season has brought to them. We have traded those wonderful holidays, those days that no longer is what the dictionary describes. I read it again today and thought how can that be? "A day appointed by law for suspension of business in commemoration of some event." Or even better, "Any day of rest." I suppose that the dictionary should change that, as our country has twisted so many things to become commercial days instead. We have lost the true meaning of, not just Christmas, but all other holidays as well. Today's world is money oriented. Holiday dates that used to mean somethings are now shoved either forward or backward to facilitate long weekends so we can go to more sporting events, drink more beer, or spend our time traveling to some location we all wish we could escape from after being there a short time. Oh well, it is that time of year that comes every year, like it or not. We can't escape it, but we can relish it and try to recapture the beauty of this holiday season but calling someone that has been forgotten, stopping to see someone who needs a friend, or just being a part of your family by putting away the earphones, the cell phones, and the other things that keep us from good old family love and conversation. To everyone, Happy Holidays and especially. Merry Christmas and Happy (safe) New Year. God Bless us one and all!!!

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