As I began my walk this morning, before the weather turned so ugly, I was sauntering along my usual route through the residential neighborhoods to get to Council Point Park. It was rather a gray and dismal sky and I was noticing how the outdoor lights and decorations at least brought some color to a rather lackluster morning. Inside the homes, the Christmas trees were all aglow in large front room windows as I surreptitiously glanced at the families sitting in the living rooms, gathered around the tree amidst bright splashes of wadded-up wrapping paper and bows that had been cast aside. It made me a little melancholy for many Christmas mornings throughout the years, as I remembered scenarios much the same as I saw in these windows. I realized this morning that it was a mistake to leave my Christmas tree and decorations in the closet … yes, that little tree lends an aura of Christmas cheer in the house and no amount of holiday songs on the radio will bring forth the ambiance of the soft glow of the lights twinkling merrily in the dimly lit living room, and glints of gold tinsel matching the tiny angel with the gilded halo and wings and velveteen dress who perches atop the tallest branch. In the semi-darkness of the room, lit only by the shimmering lights of the Christmas tree, the years all melt away, and it seems that every childhood Christmas Day was perfect and there were no bad Christmas times, just golden memories. But, nostalgia can play tricks on you sometimes – you remember what you want to remember … selective memories. Somehow, the years have a way of erasing or smoothing out the tarnished and rough edges and all Christmases become perfect in your mind’s eye. Growing up, I read and enjoyed all of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books and years later watched the TV series “Little House on the Prairie” faithfully, many times wishing I lived back in those simpler, untroubled times. This quote below speaks to Christmas Past and childhood memories, alot of which I have dwelled upon these past few weeks, and, thus I wanted to include her quote with this post. Christmas Present was quiet for me, though I’ve had some nice Christmas music on throughout the day with my little Buddy keeping up with everything from Bing to the Beach Boys. Yes, life is good. Hope your Christmas Present has been everything you imagined it to be.
Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.
– Laura Ingalls Wilder