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The Madera Tribune

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Christmas time is nigh

December 14, 2016

Music legend Smoky Robinson wrote in his song “Time Flies,” about how he needs to stay longer in the arms of his lady because, “Time flies when you’re having fun.”


As children waiting for Christmas, the days drag by and it seems the visit from Santa Claus will never get here. As adults who are engineering, the magic of the season the days rush by with more chores and errands than there are hours in the day.


Cleaning, cooking, shopping and decorating are tasks that add to the magic of the holidays. Baking cookies shaped like Santa Claus made from grandma’s recipe or the butterscotch haystacks my cousin Oletha always made meant the holidays were near.


My husband and his family didn’t put forth much effort celebrating Christmas.


While living in Dixieland, we put a lighted Santa Claus and Snowman on the roof most years. I found out later our neighbors enjoyed seeing them. Terry Earls told me she would drive by every day to see the pair floating in the fog. Another neighbor, the late Barbara Titus, said she drove by too.


When my parents were still alive I made a huge effort to orchestrate a Christmas celebration. I would get our relatives, my brothers, their wives and most importantly the much-loved grandchildren to spend a few hours at Westgate Convalescent Hospital with mom and dad. We would exchange gifts pretending to be the same family we had been when everyone was healthy.
For a few years after my parents were gone I all but avoided the holidays as just too painful to engage. Being an adult orphan isn’t much fun.


Twice a year, for just a few minutes, I am a little bit sorry I don’t have kids. Halloween is one and Christmas is another. On Halloween I compensate by giving out hands-full of candy to the kids who ring my bell. At Christmas, I do what I can to get toys for the Madera Christmas Baskets program. Every kid deserves a new toy at Christmas. Children grow up so fast.


The story of the baby Jesus born in a manger to the virgin Mary is one we learned in Sunday school. We were taught that following the Star of Bethlehem, the three wise men brought the infant gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. My teacher didn’t appreciate it when I pointed out that had he been visited by wise women they would have brought something useful like diapers, booties and bottles. Yeah, I was that kid, there is one in every crowd, and as Toby Keith says “It is usually me.”
Rolling her eyes, the teacher explained the gifts were valuable and could be traded for the things the baby needed.


Too soon in their young lives children learn the truth about the man in the red suit and the elves that help him make the toys in Santa’s workshop.


When I started questioning the existence of St. Nick, my mother told me that Santa Claus is real because he is the spirit of love.


As we get older the gifts under the tree are the least important part of the Christmas celebration. The essential part is the love and fellowship of the friends and family enjoying it.


The countdown to Christmas sits at 15 days. Making memories with your family will last long after the tinsel and boughs of evergreen have been stowed away.


Have a great weekend.


• • •


Readers can contact Tami Jo Nix by email at tamijonix@gmail.com.

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