By the time that we are old enough to live in a retirement community, all of us have much in common. When a group of residents get together over a cup of coffee or after a meal, the conversation usually turns to reminiscing. We hear talk about former jobs, war experiences, family members, etc.
Around Christmas time the topic just might be memories of Christmases past. As I reminisce about some of my most pleasant Christmas memories, perhaps you will recall some of your pleasant memories. Some of my most pleasant Christmas memories center around Christmas eve and Christmas morning when our son and daughter were little “tykes.”
We used just about every trick in the book to keep the little ones from finding out what they were to get for Christmas. On Christmas eve, after bed time I would slip out and get the presents from wherever they were hidden – the trunk of the car, an outside storage building, or a neighbor’s house. Then, the trick is to get back into the house and place the presents without making a sound.
I’ll never forget the gleam in their eyes and the smile on their faces when we would go into the living room before daylight to see what Santa had left. Then, there came the joy of watching the little ones open their presents. It was difficult to see if the little ones or Mom and Dad were more excited. I also remember the living room knee deep in Christmas wrapping paper and empty boxes after all of the presents were opened. There were times when we had the joy of repeating these experiences for our grandchildren.
Another very pleasant Christmas memory is singing in special Christmas programs. I had the good fortune of singing in the same church choir for sixty-two years. For many years a cantata was a special Christmas feature. We did several of John Peterson’s works. It just seemed that our regular hymns and, especially the Christmas songs, were more meaningful as we celebrated the birth of Christ.