Recently, sitting with a friend at lunch, we got talking about favorite Christmas memories and what those were.
Mine are quite simple.
The Christmas I got my first Lionel train set ranks high on the list and the year that I found all the presents before Christmas (I got my electric football game that I wanted so much) and was the end of “Santa Claus” for me.
The highest on the list has nothing to do with presents tho it was a present in itself.
I had just turned 21 and was sent to England by the military. I had never met my English Grandparents and relatives so this was a wonderful posting by the Government. I got to meet the “family” that I never knew and the U.S paid for it.
That Christmas Eve, as I went to the chapel on base for mid-night services, it started to snow.
So walking slowly, I looked across the rolling Banbury fields and enjoyed the warmth of that special Christmas. It seemed like a scene from a Dickens novel or Currier and Ives print. For those of you who know my love for Dickens, this is the best of best for me in memories.
Of course other Christmas memories run in and out of thought but all seem to have one thread that binds them together, the Christmas Day meal. The joining of friends and family over a common “feast”.
I guess that the meal, sitting with loved ones and guests, is the strongest memory of all. The sharing, not of gifts, but that of being together in friendships company and the warm love of caring, companionship and devotion is the dearest of all the Christmas memories.
I must add one other point. All these memories have a commonality and would not be complete with out mentioning. Mom.
My Mother may have not always been the center of my Christmas memories, but her shadow, her hand and presence was always a part of them. Like the Christmas tree, the wreath on the door, the bells from the Church steeple or the meal set before us, Christmas was not complete without her.