Opinion: Christmas 2021

Christmas is upon us. The holiday observances this weekend are Christmas Eve Friday, Christmas Day Saturday, Kwanza Sunday and Boxing Day on Monday. The word Christmas is derived from a combination of Christ and Mass.


Boxing Day is a British Banking Holiday normally held on the 26th this year it’s on Monday the 27th. Customs call for boxing up gifts and money to people whose services are employed throughout the year.


Boxing Day American style is a good time to clear out some of pre-New Year clutter by donating serviceable but unwanted items to local charities. A good way to not dwell on one’s own problems is to help relieve the hardships of others.


Kwanzaa, the newest of these observations, extends to New Year’s Day as Kwanza turns 55 this year. Kwanza is an African American construct celebrating African culture with colorful native garb, food and the sharing of fellowship among other traditions.


None of these festival days are a reason or excuse to over-imbibe in the other type of spirits. Christmas incarcerated is not a good way to celebrate the holidays.


As always remember our sons and daughters serving at home and abroad in the Armed Forces and their families. Sharing holiday church services brings the faithful together to observe the true reason for the season. A time for family gatherings, the sharing of food, gift exchange and expressions of love make the best holiday memories.


Most families have their own Christmas traditions.


One year when I was small my mother was in a local dress shop when she saw her sister Clara Banks shopping.


She was chatting with a friend who asked if she had plans for Christmas? My aunt Clara said, I guess we’ll all go over and mess up my sister’s house again this year. I love this story and probably tell it every year.


She was right on point about messing up our hose with the joy of the holidays. Grandparents, siblings, cousins, extra kids, aunts and uncles coming together with friends to celebrate the season.


I remember one holiday when two of my dad’s nephews, twins Jack and Mack Parsons from Tennessee, met at the San Diego Greyhound Bus Station. Independently each decided to come visit their uncle Ralph in Madera. They both had a couple of buddies in tow and we had Sailors in sleeping bags everywhere that holiday.


Family gatherings are the things of holiday memories. The year the US Navy invaded our home, I was maybe 5 or 6. But I remember it as one of our best Christmas ever. My dad’s family were all in Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois with one sister in Saudi Arabia. Our Hill family were so spread-out, getting to meet any of them was a great treat.


Now that I’m older my family and my Christmas is scaled back a lot. Although nothing can really compare with our memories of Christmas past with loved ones who have died. But those who die never really leave us, they are still alive if we keep them in our hearts and prayers.


Celebrate the birth of Jesus or whichever commemorations mean the most to you. A local church bulletin board poses the question, “Are you part of the Inn Crowd, or the Stable Crew?”


And once again like the promise of Ebenezer Scrooge, let’s keep the spirit of Christmas alive in our hearts all year long.

Long days and pleasant nights, have a blessed weekend.


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Readers may contact Tami Jo Nix by emailing tamijonix@gmail.com or following @TamiJoNix on Twitter.