40 Years of Change
As a child, being born in 1969, I was raised in the 1970’s. During this era Christmas was a magical time. Nobody complained about Santa or Christmas traditions like giving gifts. Beautiful Christmas Sweaters were not called “Ugly”. Kids prayed for snow even if they lived in Texas or Florida. And gift giving was from the heart not the wallet.
Children laid in bed on Christmas Eve and couldn’t close their eyes because they were listening for Santa to land on the roof! Their minds were spinning out of control with flash backs of everything they got in trouble for that year and everything they did wrong but did not get caught doing. But everyone knows Santa knew if a child has been naughty or nice. We didn’t know how he knew it, he just did. We rationalized and justified in hopes that we did enough good deeds to make up for the bad. In that moment, while we lay there, it was a reckoning of sorts. In the end, the good outweighed the bad and our dreams would take us to world filled with images of all the Christmas goodies and toys… dancing in our heads. We felt a surge of pure joy the next morning as we ran screaming at the top of our lungs into the living room “he came! Santa came!” Those were good times. A different kind of good. A kind that most kids now a days may never experience.
Christmas dinner back then filled our tummies with lots of good food. This food was not store bought, frozen, prepackaged or cooked by a restaurant. I’m talking about handmade meals by our Moms and Grandmas. Everyone got excited about their Grandma’s cooking back then!
Homemade cookies were something kids took for granted that they got to help make, decorate and eat every year at Christmas time. Now we have already made cookie dough in the freezer and refrigerator section in the grocery store. Makes me wonder what our great, great grandchildren will be doing 15-20 years from now. Will they get to enjoy playing in the flour and making a mess in mom’s kitchen without getting in trouble for it? Will they ever feel the pride and joy we felt when those cookies came out of the oven smelling so amazing? Will they ever get to sneak back in the kitchen, while the cookies sit unprotected on the kitchen table cooling, so they can swipe one and enjoy that warm, fresh amazing cookie?
Letters to Santa
All of these other things, children all over the world were experiencing, made Christmas the most memorable time of the year but there was one task that every child knew must be done each year for Christmas to truly be a success. This special task was that each child was to write a letter to Santa! In this heart felt letter addressed to the North Pole there was a greeting, a sort of statement of accounts for their good behavior that year, apologies for the bad behavior and the most important part was a detailed list of the Christmas gifts they each hoped to receive under that faithfully decorated Christmas tree standing in their living rooms! We all knew we wouldn’t get everything on the list but we did hope each year that a miracle would happen and we might would receive most of them!
The Spirit of Christmas
We all have our memories. Now it’s our responsibility to make sure our kids and grand kids have the opportunity to experience the kind of Christmas Joy that we did. We know what to do, we just need to make it happen. So bake those cookies, throw a ham in the oven and decorate that tree. Start planning what crafts and holiday projects you can do with your kids now so there are no excuses when Christmas get here. If money is tight think of ways to fill those stockings by your own hands and create heirlooms that can be cherished and passed down through the generations. Listen to your children and you will know exactly what you can get them for Christmas. If you don’t know what to get them then you don’t spend enough time with them so make some changes in your life now before it’s too late and they don’t expect you to anymore. You only have those precious years up until about 14 years old to form family traditions and instill the memories in their minds that will last them a lifetime. If you don’t what will they do for their kids? How long before all the Christmas family traditions are lost and gone forever? I don’t know about you but to me Christmas represents Love, Affection and putting someone else’s wants and needs before our own. Adopt a family and donate food to a church. If you do these things with your kids, you will never regret it and they will never forget it.
Merry Christmas! (early) 🙂