So I am pretending its Christmas Eve here, as this is my last Gravy column before the celebration of Jesus’s birthday. Reared a Christian, my grownup Christmas list includes peace on Earth and goodwill to all. My prayers include food for the hungry, shelter for the homeless and kindness for the downtrodden. May our military sons and daughters be always safe from harm.
Now is the time to share our joy of Jesus in the manger. Well-loved Christmas carols fill the air. It is time for the retelling of the favorite stories of the season, the little drummer boy, listening to angels singing, the wise men’s gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
The contemporary tales of Rudolph, Santa Claus, and George Bailey’s wonderful life play around the clock. Remember every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings. Curling up with the original, Christmas Carol written by Charles Dickens is better than all the televised adaptations of Ebenezer and Tiny Tim.
Many of the faithful will attend special worship services. Christians thank the God of our understanding for the birth of his only begotten son and for allowing us to live another year. We pray for our loved ones, their health, well-being and prosperity.
Gatherings with our family provide comfort for our souls, with nourishment for our bodies and our spirits. Sharing traditions passed down from one generation to the next keeps the customs alive.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record when traveling for the holidays, drive carefully and sober as the roadways are sure to be crowded and the probability of adverse weather and flooding is very high. The weather channel calls for rain on Sunday, Monday, a cloudy Christmas Eve and rain on Christmas and Boxing days.
The traditional television Christmas featuring excited children waking up early and tearing into stacks of presents has never happened in my and Fred’s home. Without children, there aren’t too many presents under my Charlie Brown tree.
My Christmas is celebrated vicariously through the magic of television. The fellowship of the celebrations I partake such as Secret Santa and cookie exchange at work, gift exchanges with colleagues and friends mean so much to me. Presents are fun but it really is the thought that counts. Knowing the giver remembers me fondly is what matters most.
Fred and I usually make a trek out to see the lights and decorations in Madera. In our younger days, we would brave Christmas Tree and Candy Cane lanes in Fresno. The tape recordings of the children’s choirs would often contain patches of humming in the middle of a verse when the words would escape the thoughts of the young performers.
“Oh come all ye faithful, hum, hum, hum, triumphant,” they would sing. “Come ye, oh hum, hum, hum to Bethlehem.
Generally, by the time Christmas arrives many people have been hearing Christmas music since before Halloween. The time for Christmas shopping arrives earlier and earlier each year.
While presents are fun, the true meaning of Christmas shouldn’t get lost in the overuse of credit cards.
Celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, love one another and be safe.
Long days and pleasant nights, have a good weekend.
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Readers may contact Tami Jo Nix by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or following @TamiJoNix on Twitter.