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Christmas As It Should Be Remembered
by Catherine Ward-Long
06/03/10
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All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth. As a child, it was truly a magical time. The countdown to Christmas always took f-o-r-e-v-e-r.

Christmas decorations weren't seen in department stores until AFTER Thanksgiving. The lighting of the Rich's great tree brought in the traditional season. I watched it at home on the old black and white television set.

The stereo was the main attraction belting out favorite Christmas carols. Antique plastic black records with the tiny holes in the middle were the only things available.

Although mother was poor by American economic standards, she made sure that my brothers and I had a bountiful Christmas Day. My paternal grandparents sent money for spending each year. Thus adding more to the pot for Santa Clause. If I received one thing I wanted for Christmas, I was very happy indeed.

The two weeks of vacation from school made it worse. Every day seemed to drag as if Christmas would never get here.

Annual tradition included opening two packages on Christmas Eve. Those packages contained new flannel pajamas and clean underwear. Opening these gifts seemed to contain the excitement until Christmas morning. I wore those pajamas to bed, all the while staying awake in case Santa Clause should appear.

When Christmas Day finally arrived, I woke up at the crack of dawn, 6:00 a.m. It was a glorious sight to behold. All those toys beneath the Christmas tree. Bikes, dolls, candy, nuts, and more. G.I. Joe and Barbie were the only namebrand dolls on the list.

Relatives from Fort Valley, Georgia would be there. My maternal great-grandparents came when they could. One aunt and uncle really enjoyed Christmas Day with us because they had no children. One uncle never married.

I shared three or four Christmases with Papa, my maternal grandfather, before his death in the early 1960's. Grandmother cooked a grand dinner with turkey and dressing and all the fixins'. More than enough for our small family gathering!

After all the formalities were over, I played. Cousins across the pasture called to ask, "What did Santa Clause bring you?" I especially liked sharing my toys with Kay. She was my answer to having a little kid sister. The same age as my younger brother, we always seemed to play well together.

Kay and I invented many stories for Barbie and Ken. Board games like Monopoly were strewn across the floor. New clothes, arranged on the bed, only added to the disorderly appearance of my room. These faded memories bring tears to my eyes ...

Today the birth of Jesus Christ is still miraculous. The child inside this mature adult has never died. Isn't it wonderful that the spirit of the child never grows old with Christ?

There's always tomorrow for dreams to come true ...

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