Christmas Memories

nativity_scene

Christmas was such a special time of year for all of us children. Our hearts would be filled with wonder as we were told about Jesus in Sunday School. Our teacher would began to read from Luke 2:8-20.  When she would get to verses 11-12, my attention would pick up in excitement.

“For unto you is born this day in the City of David, a Saviour, which is Christ, the Lord.  And this shall be a sign unto you;  Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:11-12)

The reason we got so excited was because we knew what a manger was.  Most days we had to feed our calves in the small feeding trough, which was also called “a manger.“  In our imagination, we could see Baby Jesus being wrapped up in His baby blanket and laid gently and tenderly in His new bed.

It amazed us to hear that God was the first to give a gift, the best gift that He had, Jesus. This was His only “Beloved Son,“ but it revealed how much God loved us, how deeply that love ran, and how much He gave for us to know Him personally.

“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God“ (1 John 3:1a)

My childhood memories of Christmas were celebrated in the house on our small farm.  It was a grey clapboard house with four large rooms. One year Daddy put on some siding that looked like roofing to try to help keep some of the cold air from blowing through the cracks. It did help because the outside walls were only two by fours with the clapboard over it, there was no insulation or other wood walls on the inside. I remember some of us kids checking it out to see, if we could see outside through those cracks again.

The siding had definitely done the job. We could not see anything!!!

There was Mama and Daddy’s room, which the three youngest babies slept in, the boys’ room, the girl’s room, and the kitchen with the dinner table.  Now, y’all, we had no idea what a dining table was for years. We were called to come to the “Dinner Table or Supper Table,“ depending on which meal. (Now, I know some of you relate to that.)

There was a front porch that ran all the way across the front of the house. Right in the center of the porch were two screen doors, side by side and a little alcove as you went in. To the left was a door that went into Mama and Daddy’s room, and to the right there was a door that went into the girl’s room.

At Christmas, this alcove was where our Christmas tree stood.  Daddy and my older brothers would go in the woods and find a large cedar tree and haul it back to the house.  All of us children would get busy making the decorations.  We didn’t have construction paper; instead, we would just use the plain white paper and take the broken colors, turn them on their side, and color all over some of the paper until it was solid.  Then, the paper would be cut into strips and glued together to make long chains as garlands.

Mama would pop popcorn and one of the older girls would take a needle and thread and string it together into garlands. We would draw, color, and cut out bells and angels. Sometimes, we would take sweetgum balls with the two inch stems and tie strings on them and hang on the tree. Of course, pinecones would be hung or laid in the tree. As each homemade decoration was strung on the tree, it was more beautiful to our little eyes.  I do remember having colored Christmas lights hung on it as I got older.  At night we would stand out in the yard for ages admiring our beautiful Christmas tree.

We thought we probably had the most beautiful one of all!!!

But, with all the excitement of Christmas, we never forgot that ………………….

“Christmas is all about One Person, Jesus Christ.“

Blessed with wonderful memories,

Tricia Cook

 

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