Christmas is such a joyous time, yet also a time with potential for melancholy and sadness. I’m always reminded, at this time of year, of what used to be--of grandparents giving gifts; of uncles playing Santa Claus; of Christmas pageants at church; of car rides to see Christmas lights; of simple dinners out with the kids, aglow with the excitement of Christmas.
Each year, I seem to get more introspective at Thanksgiving and Christmas. The carols which sing of Christmases past or an “old time Christmas” can trigger the simple memory--of an uncle slipping on an icy sidewalk as he played Santa, perhaps with one too many adult beverages in his belly; of a grandfather’s belly laugh at the sight of his dolled-up granddaughter, dressed in her Christmas finery; of a grandfather's soft voice as he sang Stille Nacht in the native tongue--German--of his family; of a light snowfall on the Plaza as we walked with the kids after a special dinner...at McDonald’s.
I worry that the wonder of Christmas is too easily lost these days in the crazed commercialism which starts the holiday retail season in October. Let’s all ensure that this Christmas season, we make a memory or two which will be conjured up in years to come as those around us reflect on their own “old time Christmas.”