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Christmas means different things to different people
Written by News Desk   
Thursday, 26 December 2013 16:21

artparkerBy This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Editor

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all. I extend sincere best wishes to all of you and hope, regardless of your religious beliefs or persuasions, you enjoy this time of year with unlimited happiness.

For us of the Christian faith we celebrate the time because of our Savior's birth. I have been told by many and have read over the years that Jesus was not born on December 25. Well this is the time chosen for the celebration so that's what we do. I do not believe it is a point worth arguing.

My thoughts about Christmas are not universally accepted. In fact, I am what many of you call a Scrooge. I do not get into the hoopla of Christmas. I am very much against the commercialization of the birth of Christ. I do not view Christ as a way to boost our economy via retail sales. I do not have nor will I possess a sweatshirt or sweater with an image of Santa Claus upon it. I always believed that Santa Claus was for kids until they realized the whole thing wasn't true. As for me, when I realized that Santa Claus was a fictitious character I formed a dim view of the fat guy with the beard and the other hoopla. In my young mind I determined it was a fraud. About the time I left college I couldn't help but think that the Santa Claus deal was made up by politicians, after all, who else can we trust more to tell us a lie?

As a young father I naturally went along with the Santa Claus routine and I even "played" Santa Claus for some organizations in Birmingham when they were hosting parties for little kids. I was a good Santa even though I could barely survive the heat of the costume and the extreme itchiness of the beard. And yes, it was great to see the smiles on the little kid's faces because Santa came to see them.

But when my daughter figured out the routine I knew it was time to throw out the Santa Claus suit.

Since then I am just grateful to have a family and have the time with them. I suppose that is what Christmas means to me. It's like Thanksgiving. It's a time for family and gratefulness. My daughter, now almost 33 years of age, has not lived in Alabama since she left for college some 15 years ago. She fell in love with Virginia and lives in the Washington D.C. area (she now lives on the Maryland side of our nation's capital). Seeing her is the greatest gift of all especially since we see each other so infrequently. We don't make a fuss about gifts, we are just happy to be together along with other family. That's the Christmas I love and I am grateful God has given it to me.

This Christmas will be tough since my mother-in-law died in early November. It will be the first Christmas my wife has not spent with her mom in more than 60 years. I loved my mother-in-law very much and will miss her as well. When Chris and I first married we would go to mother-in-law's house for Christmas Day. Eventually she started coming to our home and Chris would be in charge of the cooking. Eventually she moved in with us. The last couple of Christmas dinners I had to fix her plate and cut her turkey. She was legally blind and her hands were not steady. It was just good to have her with us and her presence was a great gift you just can't buy in a store. Believe me, I would rather have mother-in-law back than Santa Claus any day.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all. May your time be filled with family and happiness, and may we all remember the real reason for the season.

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 December 2013 16:23
 
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