I spent Christmas along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, visiting my sis and her family and soaking up some warmer weather (though they, too, had some nights below freezing!)
When you’re away from home base for several days, you find yourself attending a different church, patronizing different restaurants and stores, and running into different people than usual.
I want to recapture some of those experiences here.
One of the churches I attended has a custom — after the adults’ collection plate has been passed — of inviting the children to come forward and drop their donations into a huge glass pickle jar to be given to charity.
Because of the holidays, the kids were dressed to the nines. Fancy crinoline dresses, little Christmas vests, bows in hair, khaki trousers, patent Mary Janes.
They looked darling.
They also seemed a bit hesitant about dropping their coins and bills into the jar (fortunately, no one reached back in to retrieve their donation!)
Anyway, one little girl with dark curls, a satin-looking red dress, and matching red shoes was the last to give. When she finished, she balked at leaving the altar, holding her arms up until daddy rescued her and carried her back to the pew.
The whole church giggled.
Grandparents and those of us with older kids reminisced over days gone by; parents of younger kids were all-too-familiar with the scene.
It brought to mind something My Favorite Domer said recently about how Christmas “just isn’t as much fun” as it was when he was little.
No toys, not as many presents, nothing from Santa.
Part of me wanted to argue that his “toys” now are much more expensive than when he was little and to snidely tell him, “Welcome to the adult world,” but I stopped myself.
What if he’s right?
Does growing up have to make us jaded? Can’t we find a way to approach the holidays with childlike wonder, to enjoy and fully live in the present without sacrificing memories of the past?