Christmas is a magical time of year. My childhood memories are filled with wonderful sights, sounds, and smells that are associated only with the Christmas season. When I was a child, I believed that Christmas was all about the presents, food, and decorations. Now that I am older I realize that Christmas is truly about family, friends, and spending time with the people you love. For the youth of today, Christmas has become so materialistic that when the word is mentioned children smile, jump up and down, and ask their parents what they will receive. If today’s youth don’t open their eyes and realize what Christmas is truly about, in ten years or so Christmas as we know it will cease to exist.
Twinkling lights woven in and out the stair rungs, every third spindle adorned with a red bow. Red and white poinsettias intertwined with pine garland and twinkling white lights draped across the mantle. The French doors decorated in similar fashion, welcoming holiday visitors into our Christmas wonderland. Ceramic figurines depicting the nativity scene of Bethlehem’s manger and Baby Jesus, cradled in His mother’s loving arms, while shepherds and angels stood in wonder. This scene always had its place of prominence in the center of the mantle. Wreaths and garland on each of the doors added a welcoming feeling to our home. The Christmas tree in the piano room decorated with traditional shiny glass balls in colors of red, green, silver and blue. These balls sparkled brightly as the multi-colored string of lights were reflected in them. The white and blue tree in the kitchen; Mom’s tree, because of the time spent in the kitchen during the season. Another tree in the living room covered with homemade ornaments and strung with popcorn taking center stage. Perhaps because of its size, or maybe because of the significance of the ornaments on it, I’m not sure which. This tree filled with memories of each year of our childhood, covered with silly ornaments crafted by my brother, sister, and me in our youth. This tree fills the room where the fireplace is, obviously the most likely place for Santa to leave his treasures and goodies.
The aroma of cinnamon fills the air in the house. Candles, cookies, candy, all making the house warm and cozy. The well-known melodies of “Deck the Halls”, “Jingle Bells”, and “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire” put even the worst Scrooge in a holiday mood. With the decorations and baking underway, the bedroom was put under lock and key, with strict orders from Mom, “Don’t you dare go in that room and snoop!” The rustling of wrapping paper could be heard late at night if one was listening closely. I couldn’t wait for “that day” to arrive. Christmas was when I would finally get all the presents I had been asking, rather, begging to have, for the past few weeks. These new toys and latest gadgets were so important to me. I knew I would just die if I didn’t get everything on my list. My parents always tried to explain the true meaning of Christmas to us, but when you’re that little, it’s hard not to just want everything the stores have on display. This year, my tenth Christmas, I was certain Santa wouldn’t let me down, surely he’d bring me that remote control car I had asked for. I understood that it was expensive, but Santa has all the toys, and I had definitely been a “good little boy.”