There is something magical that teases the senses on these early, golden December days. Maybe it’s the promise of Christmas. Maybe we are lost in memories of a time that was, a December that was.
Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941. Lest we forget.
So many young lives taken, and skies filled with the promises of death. Now the young men are no longer young men, and they shake their heads, and they remember those moments that President Franklin D. Roosevelt said would “Live in infamy.” And they have.
Our December always comes, strolling in like the queen she is, doesn’t she? While the rest of the world sleeps, December makes her entrance; Mocking our memories and sweeping us into the past. Allowing us dream swept promises of things to come. Maybe.
The mornings that were so brilliant with streaks of sunlight in June are now, in December, as black as my first cup of coffee. The sun yawns, and reluctantly tiptoes in around 7:00.
Red holly berries and flaming poinsettias smile side by side. The air is sweet with the smells of a new season. And the magic is ours to enjoy, if only for a glimpse of a day we have hidden in a corner of our heart. What sweeter visions are there to cherish.
Suddenly, a haunting melody from an old song (long gone,) can whisk you back in time. I have a dear friend who plays the piano so beautifully, the past spins to life under her touch and you find yourself traveling through all your yesterdays on a golden journey of memories. You can close your eyes and Barbara’s music, her gift, will transport you gently through the golden doors of “times long past.”
So despite all our efforts (sometimes to the contrary,) the human spirit endures. The music lives, and each life has the ability to touch other lives. “And for better or worst,” as Thomas Kincade said: “Person by person, generation by generation, a world and a future are shaped.” You would probably be surprised by the number of lives you have touched, every day, every moment.
I know without question it was my mother who molded and painted my Christmas histories. I never remember her losing that childlike magic that made Christmas so exciting. Her joy was as contagious as her laughter..
I can see her plainly in her high heels and earrings, cookbooks and shopping lists up to her elbows. Stacks of cards and decorations. She insisted on giving a gift to everyone she knew, (and quite a few that she didn’t). Nothing elaborate, but all were remembered; She surrounded us with that wonderful holiday feeling.
You never left Mother’s house empty-handed or empty-spirited, she offered both in merry numbers. She loved to entertain, and Christmas gave her the perfect excuse. She invited friends, family, strangers, and they came, and they came. And they left enriched by her enthusiasm, touched by her generosity.
Annie Laura, Irish lass that she was, decorated every room in the house from top to bottom. Before she died, I took her to see the lights at Meadow. She loved it! That was what Christmas meant to her. The birth of the Christ Child was a time for rejoicing and celebrating, and she always longed to start immediately.
Mama was (proudly, I might add,) a transplanted country girl. She lived through two great wars, and survived a “Depression.” She spent many years with my dad on a military base in Virginia. Yet she would always say; “Well, soon as the letter comes we’ll go home.”
And the letter always came, and we always went back to the farm in Carolina, where her brothers would load her down with Southern survival necessities. And I can see us now, on the train, traveling through the night, cradling hams in our arms like new- born babies. Two shepherds, studying the stars, determined to find our way to Bethlehem on a December evening, long ago.