The Christmas season is once again upon us, …too soon for adults and not soon enough for the young.

Some greet this wonderful holiday with sadness as they remember those who are no longer with us. I recall Christmases with joy, gratitude and blessed to experience so many.

During the Depression, if Santa came at all, he did so while we were in church on Christmas Eve, telling the story of Jesus’ birth in song and Bible verses.

I shudder when I think of the few times we had a Christmas tree. We decorated it with lighted candles (what a fire hazard that was). Of course, the trees were not shipped from the north in September, so were not as dry as today’s trees. No fancy store-bought globes or electric lights. No artificial trees, either. So we were able to enjoy the pine scent from a freshly cut tree.

Popcorn was used to decorate the tree – that is, if there was enough left over and we did not eat it all before we strung it together.

The lean years stand out when Santa did not come to our house. But you can’t miss what you never had, so most of the time we did not feel underprivileged. Hardships are character builders.

If there were gifts at all, there was nothing lavish. I doubt today’s youngsters are any happier with their gifts than we were with our rare, paltry ones, although often disappointed with long underwear, socks or other practical items. Frivolous items in the Wish Books (Sears and Montgomery Ward catalogs) were not forthcoming.

But one Christmas was more memorable and especially happy, when we received two little kittens. What enjoyment to watch them frolic! Better entertainment than anything on television now.

We were not aware or dazzled by all the toys and games advertised on TV now. Many parents did not have the wherewithal to purchase them anyway. Disappointing, true – but parents did the best they could.

Christmas used to have a special meaning that seems lacking in modern times. How sad that we have lost so much with the rampant commercialism now. “Happy Holidays” does not do it for me, and I always respond with the more meaningful “Merry Christmas.”

A simple, blessed Christmas to everyone and I hope this one stands out for you from all the rest.

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