People my age have observed Christmas many, many times over the years. The gifts may have been meager at times during the Great Depression, but I still have fond memories.

Some Yuletides were happier than others. In 1941, with the recent bombing of Pearl Harbor on everyone’s minds, that was a very sad time. The following year was even sadder when my three brothers, like many young men throughout the U.S., had been drafted for military duty.

But that was offset by 1945, when my brothers were all back with us, alive and well.

Sometimes Christmas memories blend into others and we may remember two years as one and the same. I recall one constant though. My father always said, “Don’t buy me anything. I don’t need anything.” And yet, he was always the first to ask, “When are we going to open presents?”

No matter how mature and blasé we may try to appear, there is always an air of joyous anticipation during this season.

We in the older generation anticipate the joy in the eyes of the younger generation, finding more pleasure in giving than receiving after so many years.

There were lean years of great disappointment growing up in the Depression and my anticipation often was not realized. A wished-for toy was not there and a flannel nightie might be in that wrapped package instead.

This is not a “poor me” piece, though, as I look back with great fondness on the simpler joys back then.

We may not always get what we want. But then, think of it this way: We don’t always get what we deserve either — I mean a punishment for wrongdoing.

May you find peace, joy and appreciation under your tree this year.

Have a blessed Christmas everyone.

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