A fond memory of Christmas past
In school we sang Silent Night without fear of reprisals. And no one appeared to be offended by our secular or religious outdoor decorations. The Christmas holidays were devoid of politics; Washington was eons away and had no place in our celebrating the birth of the Christ child. People actually cared about Good Will Toward Men and folks seemed kinder, more spiritual, or has memory dimmed my recollection of the times back then?
I remember that our church played a large part in our observance of the Christmas season. We gathered food, toys and clothes and took them to the less fortunate in our community. We put on plays featuring the manger scene with Mary, Joseph, and little baby Jesus and no one protested. We didn’t have to hold a town meeting to get permission or question its legality, or whether or not it was deemed politically correct. Political correctness had yet to become a part of our vocabulary and life was far less complicated then.
At home we decorated the tree with home-made decorations; strings of popcorn, crepe paper ornaments, and lights. And the season began the day after Thanksgiving when we went to the woods, selected and chopped down the best tree we could find, instead of spending the day in lines with other people at ungodly hours to get the best deal at department stores. Today, we also shop the internet for presents, depriving ourselves of the spirit of Christmas, of being ‘hands-on’ in our selection of gifts. Just a click of a computer key and it’s done. Nothing there to make us feel all warm and cozy inside.
My father, who was clueless when it came to shopping of any kind, always left his gift to Mama up to his girls to buy. One year we told him he had to shop for his own gift to her. When Christmas morning came and Mama unwrapped her present from him, she found a huge green frog made of a chalk-like substance with big bulging eyes staring back at her. It was a doorstop, perhaps the ugliest doorstop ever made. It provided us with laughs for years. After that, we went back to shopping for Daddy.
Another homage to my father that seems fitting to add to this memory of him. He never missed going to church. And if it snowed, which it did on rare occasions during the Christmas season, we kids bundled ourselves up in coats and scarves and gloves and followed in his footsteps the four or five blocks up Kentucky Street to Central Baptist Church in Corbin.
Yes, we literally followed in his footsteps. He would make a large footprint in the snow and we who were walking behind him placed our feet in the deep indentations he had made. We looked like the march of the penguins walking in single file behind him, or that’s what I remember in my mind’s eye. A nice metaphor, wouldn’t you say?
In about a month, it will all be over. Let the warmth and memory of Christmas Past be with you in the chaotic days to come.
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These are easy to make, but hard to keep on hand.
Heat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper or foil. Place one pretzel for each pretzel treat desired on prepared sheet. Top each pretzel with one chewy Caramel.
Bake 3 to 5 minutes or until caramel piece begins to soften, but not melt. Remove from oven; top with either pecan half or additional pretzel. Cool completely. Enjoy.