By the time most of us receive this paper, we will have already celebrated Christmas and will be reviewing the pleasure we had. By now, we surely have a large volume of memories of the many Christmas celebrations we have had.
As we look at the gifts we received, we are reminded of the past when we were delighted if we received one toy, a few nuts, some homemade candy, and an apple or an orange in the stockings we hung by the fireplace. Those cotton stockings didn’t resemble rather elegant socks we see now, but we were just as proud of them and just as eager to check their contents.
As time passed, more gifts began to appear and more decorations were strewn about the house, both inside and out. Even as a child, I don’t think the number of gifts or the fancier decorations made the day any better than those earlier ones. In fact, I feel that the more we received, the less we appreciated each item and the less we thought about the meaning of Christmas.
Yes, we opened them under the electric lights instead of by lamp light, but that didn’t really make Christmas morning any more fun than it had been.
After Christmas cards became more popular, we certainly received more of them, and our family really appreciated each one because, each was a gift to all of us. Mother, my brother, and I read them as soon as they arrived, but Dad established his own tradition and read them on Christmas morning after our gift exchange. He’d move to a quiet place and read each one carefully. Later, he would comment on some that had touched him more deeply because of the personal messages included.
Although I open the cards immediately, I still go through them several times before putting them away and so enjoy those which contain personal notes and even personal letters. I am very fortunate to receive a number of cards and many of them contain personal messages. Those from students really touch me deeply because they remind me of the great times we had in class and what a privilege it was to play a small part in their lives. To be remembered after all these years just automatically brightens the spirit of the season.
Let’s continue treasuring our memories and sharing them with each other as time permits. Love and friendship are the major gifts we can give and receive. They cannot be thought of in terms of money because they are priceless and really are easy to give and to receive. They truly are the gifts that keep on giving.
Lynn Moncus is a Tucumcari resident and can be contacted through the Quay County Sun by calling 575-461-1952.