Saturday, December 12, 2009

CHRISTMAS PAST by Peggy A. Kelley

(We're going to get Peggy her own posting credentials soon, but to get this online sooner, I'm posting this one for her)

When I was but a child (in a family of 8 children), I looooooved Christmas! Some months before, my Dad went hunting to harvest the hides of racoons, possums, skunks and sometimes mink. He sold the hides so us kids could have Christmas presents. The best gift was being with my Daddy on those shivering cold nights, spotting the sparkling stars in the dark skies and not being the least bit concerned how far we roamed. I was with Daddy, he would take me safely home. Our celebration started before December as we studied our parts and learned songs for the presentation of a Christmas Program at Petros Baptist Church. Around the first of December, I could smell apples. (My mother had a large wooden box and after wrapping our Christmas fruits in paper--apples and oranges, she stored them until Christmas.) Now, all these years later, I associate the smell of apples with Christmas. Our house was filled with the aroma of cedar when Daddy brought home our tree that was so tall it reached the ceiling. Daddy brought holly home with bright red berries. We all helped decorate–sometimes stringing popcorn, sometimes stringing holly berries. Much of the time we sang-- practicing the carols for our program.

I recall a time when the kids in our neighborhood at Petros went to the woods and brought a huge cedar tree back to the church. It was so tall it had to be topped to put it up. We all helped with the decorating and then helped to make the goodie bags for EVERYONE, child and adult alike who would attend the program. I don’t know how, but every year EVERYONE got a sack with an orange, apple, different kinds of nuts, orange slices, chocolate drops, peanut brittle, peppermint candy. In the meantime, our Momma sewed each of us clothes to wear in the Christmas Program. On Christmas Eve night, we performed our play and songs. What a gift that keeps on giving. I learned so much about the birth of Christ and about giving during those years. Jesus words so true, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

Later in my teen years, I was in groups that went caroling to the homes of those who we called “shut-ins”. (They couldn’t get out and about.) I still remember the joy on those people’s faces as we sang several Christmas Carols. They laughed and talked and were so happy to see us! I have since done this with my children, the children I’ve taught and my grandchildren. We have gone to shut-ins homes, nursing homes, assisted living places, banks, and offices. What a joy!! “O come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!”

Live trees are my favorite! The first year we had a plastic tree was when I had surgery the last of November and was in the hospital several days. . My daughter bought the tree and decorated it with handmade decorations. We have continued to use that tree. This year I’m writing the names of JESUS on bulbs for the tree. Deep inside, I can still see and smell the live trees, remember with pleasure the programs that presented the “Babe in the Manger” and truths from the Word, all the goodie sacks, the joy on people’s faces and hear those meaningful Christmas Carols that still thrill my heart! Momma & Daddy’s happiness was revealed in their faces as all their children enjoyed CHRISTMAS!!! Thank you, Father God, for the true gift of CHRISTmas!!!

5 Comments:

At December 12, 2009 at 9:59 AM , Blogger Chuck Hudlow said...

Very nice, Peggy. I imagine that all of our readers can recall similar memories from their early years. I know I can.

 
At December 12, 2009 at 10:46 PM , Blogger Kathy Bain Dunn said...

Peggy, it was so nice to remember those things that represent a Heavener Christmas - - apples, oranges, that S shaped hard candy, the Christmas parade, and the Christmas program at church. Three years in a row in the Children's Department Miss Lassiter, Mary ???, and Margaret Kelley had us memorize Luke 2:1-20 to recite at the Christmas program. I still remember it word for word to this day - King James Version. Think about the vocabulary lesson in that passage for a 6 year old!! None of us had any trouble knowing the meaning of espoused, swaddling, multitude, tax, manger. We took it all in and "pondered it in our hearts." Thanks for bringing all those important memories to mind!

PS. I know Mary ????. She lived over behind Gwen Campbell. I see her face. Husband is Kenneth. Son was overseas - maybe Vietnam - might have been Lowell. AIAIGHH, I cannot call the name right now.

 
At December 17, 2009 at 8:48 AM , Blogger John Inman said...

Nice, Peggy It'll be good when you and Colin can both post blogs.

 
At December 17, 2009 at 10:00 PM , Blogger Kathy Bain Dunn said...

Mary ROGERS. She was the other Sunday School teacher in the Children's Department.

 
At December 23, 2009 at 8:00 AM , Blogger colin said...

I knew who you meant and right where she lived, but I couldn't think of their names either. Mary isn't a very commone name you know;especially around Christmas!

 

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