I realize that this is not exactly a "Couples related post", but I hope you will enjoy it anyways. The events of today, will become cherished memories for the rest of your lives. Here is how I felt about Christmas when I was just a 5-6 year old kid.
Ever since I was kid, I always looked forward to Christmas. Not for the religious aspect, I'm Jewish, but for the spirit that seemed to take over in my hometown of Haverhill Mass. The lights downtown were beautiful, the stores had decorations in the windows, and the Christmas music just made me feel terrific. In school, we had a number of chorus days. All the kids sang all the songs, and we all felt part of something very special. It didn't matter what religion you were, or what part of town you lived in, all we knew and felt was the spirit of the holiday season.
I can remember having a quarter to buy something for my teacher. Yes folks, a quarter. I roamed the stores looking for that special something. I think that I found some little decoration that just seemed perfect. And our teacher opened every gift during the day, so that everyone could go, Ooooo, wow, and giggles all around.
There was a wonderful feeling everywhere you went. Lots of smiling happy people, greeting each other with warm wishes. There was an excitement in the air, and in everyone you met along the way. Buying and giving gifts was a joy. Not the "obligation" that many people feel today. The entire city looked like a Courier & Ives Christmas card.
When I went to bed on the night before Christmas, I always looked forward to getting up early to open presents my parents bought for me. The fact that we were Jewish, didn't prevent us from being part of holidays.
When we got back to school after the holiday break, we couldn't wait to tell each other what we got. One year, as I came downstairs to the living room, there was a Lionel train set that my father assembled, and the little steam engine was going around and around. I played with that train set every day after school. It had a transformer so that you could make the train go slow or fast. When I turned it up to full power, it chugged along the figure eight track and almost ran so fast that it would sometimes come off the tracks. In the following years, I got new box cars, a cattle car, and a section of track that you could couple and uncouple the various train cars.
As I grew a little older, maybe 10 or so, I got a pair of Hopalong Cassidy cap pistols, with white plastic handles. I had a leather belt that held two holsters, one on each side. They had thin leather straps that you could tie around your leg. There were board games, an Erector set and Lincoln Logs. It really was a magical time. Every year, we would make the pilgrimage to downtown Boston, to see the lights and stop at Jordan Marsh to see the wonderful animated display in their front window. I stood there, with my nose pressed right up against the glass, watching all the characters as they moved to and frow. They were some of the best years of my life.
All those years went by faster and faster as I grew older. But the magic never changed.
Now, I'm 72. One might think that all that excitement and happiness would have dissipated by now. But it hasn't. I still feel pretty much the same way. I still see all the wonderment in every young child, I still sing all the songs, even though I'm at work. And I still feel like a little kid inside. The spirit never dies.
It was never about the religious affiliation, it was just a time when everyone forgot about their troubles, if only for a day or so.
So to all my friends, and all their children, I wish you all the pleasures of this holiday season. Cherish them. Because before you know it, you too will grow a little older, and more and more of the adult world will become a part of your life. But for at least on this one day of Christmas, we can all become children, if only for such a short time. Hug each other, hug your kids, and spread some Christmas magic. And when you become a "grown-up, you too will have those wonderful memories to relive over and over again.
You always seem to put things in their proper perspective! Yes, it is a Magical Time for most of us, regardless of religious affiliations! Thank you for sharing some of your wonderful memories of the holiday season! It's always a pleasure to read whatever you write!
PS I used to live in Haverhill!! And I taught in Merrimac...got married on the riverboat, the Merrimack Queen! Small world indeed.
Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy 2013!