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Christmas Redux

With another Christmas behind me, my thoughts tend to drift back to Christmases past. 

Dec 26 Happiness Bomb Pauline Baird Jones

With another Christmas behind me, my thoughts tend to drift back to Christmases past. 

I honestly don’t know how my parents did it, with six kids and not much money. 

I remember the slow build of anticipation. Long, long days in school, evenings spent pouring over the Sears and Montgomery Wards catalogs dreaming and plotting. It seemed to take forever, and then suddenly it was the last day of school. We’d march from the school to the Hyatt Theater for our Christmas movie and meeting with Santa. He’d give us a bag of peanuts and candy, then we’d filter home through the wintery afternoon. 

With school out, we’d “help” mom do the last preparations and accept the gifts of food from our neighbors. We had to wait for Christmas Eve before we could eat anything. Then we made the drive to see my country grandma, peering out the car windows to see if we could catch a glimpse of Santa flying by.

I always hoped, he’d visit our house early. LOL 

When we got home, we’d read the Christmas story, sing some carols and finally dive into some of the food. 

Then it was time to try to get to sleep. Some years I couldn’t sleep. Not even a wink.

Mom always insisted we wait while she turned on the tree lights before we could view the magic Santa had wrought on our living room. 

It always looked like a happiness bomb had exploded in there. It’s funny, but I don’t remember that many specifics about what Santa brought us. I know we got Barbies and basketballs. One year it was Liddle Kiddles and oh, the Creepy Crawlers! Bugs popped up everywhere, because I had brothers. There are some gifts that stand out more. 

Our Christmas dresses (hand-made) and new pajamas (probably so we wouldn’t look too ratty in the pictures LOL). And books and dinner mints from my city grandma (I loved those mints! Only place I find them now is a Cracker Barrel, but they always remind me of my city grandma.)

When I look back, though. I realize that the greatest gift I received, the true magic of Christmas was the knowledge that I was loved by two amazing parents. Thanks to them, I grew up knowing that Christmas was, and is, more than a fun holiday and a break from school. It’s about love and gratitude and giving and the birth of a very special child who lived and died to save us all.

Do you have an wondrous Christmas/holiday memories? 

Perilously and magically yours,


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