“‘Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.”
These are lines from the classic Christmas poem by Clement Clarke Moore in 1822.
You probably heard this poem a few times recently.
I hope you had a Merry Christmas and I wish for you a Happy New Year.
The buildup to the Christmas season featured gifts and gift-giving. Sales and discounts were highlighted in newspapers and online shopping was non-stop.
Adults participated in Black Friday sales trying to get their purchases at the lowest price possible.
So now, we can relax and wait for Christmas 2023, and the shopping sprees that will occur.
I suspect if you are in the fourth quarter of your life like I am, you probably had a perspective on the Christmas that we just celebrated.
Like you, I believed in all the Christmas legends and lore.
I must give my parents credit for being what I call “Christmas ambassadors.”
So, here are a few of those long-held memories of what the season was like for me as a child.
First, at least in my Winston-Salem, NC neighborhood, Christmas was not really talked about until after Thanksgiving.
In fact, Thanksgiving was a big deal, as we had a turkey and all the trimmings. It made for a happy time with my parents and relatives.
Equally important was that we didn’t have school until the following Monday, which gave us additional time with our friends.
Well, I am not sure that the naughty and nice list was ever actualized when I was coming of age.
Can you imagine not receiving your union skates because you were naughty? No, you can’t.
My parents said that I should leave cookies and milk for Santa, and of course I did.
On Christmas morning, the cookies were gone, and Santa’s lip print was on the glass. He had been to our house.
The presents were under the tree, which was a real tree, and my staple gifts were skates and the latest cap gun.
You must be a certain age to know what a cap gun is.
Late morning and all afternoon we were outside on our skates or riding our bikes.
This is what we did on Christmas Day, and everyone had fun.
As I reached adulthood, I started to buy gifts as well.
At points, it was a bit stressful to know what to get family and friends.
As I age, I have some different perspectives on the season.
Christmas is too commercial, and the emphasis is misguided, as billions of dollars are being spent by… we, the citizens.
The spiritual aspect of this season has been overtaken by the big spending that we do.
Will that inclination to spend money during the Christmas season ever stop?
Probably not in the foreseeable future.
There will have to be a totally different mindset for the economics around Christmas to change.
My Christmas season was spent with family and friends. Joy and happiness were in great supply.
I made several calls to check up on people and to see how they were doing.
That’s what those of us in the fourth quarter do. If you have older relatives, they will tell you the same thing.
The presence of people, or listening to them on the phone, brings me great pleasure.
I believe human interaction fends off some illnesses and keeps the mind sharp.
Remember that if you are in your senior years chronologically, it doesn’t mean that you must throw in the towel.
Age is but a number. Wear it well and be proud of it.