Christmas was without a doubt my most exciting childhood memory. I can vividly remember pulling out the ole artificial tree with the multi-color twinkle bulbs and tinsel. I was so excited and would quickly setup the tree without bothering to look at the instructions. It more often looked like a bush rather than a tree. Dad would have to completely take it apart and start from scratch to make it look right. We would spend days testing all the lights so it was covered from the top to the bottom. I remember once having the bright idea that I could make a bulb tester by taking one socket and connecting it directly to a plugin. Lets just say, when I finally got my hair to lay down on my head again, I never modified Christmas light wiring again. We then would smother the tree with a layer of icicles, something you don’t see much anymore. I can still smell the pine tree spray we used to give it that "real pine tree" smell.
We lived on Hurley-Wade Road and were one of only five or six houses near Gavin Hamilton Road. Christmas time, as I remember, was always very cold. After decorating and completely covering the tree with multi-colored flashing lights, we would stand in our yard like Clark Griswold admiring our work. The goal was ensuring every inch was completely covered from top to bottom with lights. We then would load up the Ford Econoline sleigh (van) and ride all over the community looking at Christmas lights. Every house had at least one tree that could be seen from the road and many others would have roof and window lights as well.
In early October, Sears would publish the Christmas Edition catalog, which seemed to weigh 10lbs or more, and I would have it memorized and worn out by November. I can remember going to town and all the stores would be decorated with Christmas lights. The excitement of the season was intoxicating.
With all the hustle and bustle then, it still seemed to be a much slower pace than today. We had lots of Christmas parties, got together to watch Christmas shows and eat, played Christmas records (yes, vinyl records) and hung out with our family. We cared about and celebrated with our friends and neighbors.
So now comes the “why we do it." We hope families and friends will take time to slow down, if even for just a few minutes, and come watch and enjoy the show. We hope it takes you back to a time long forgotten, to remember that childlike excitement. We hope you remember the enjoyment of stopping to spend time together. We hope you post on our page some of your favorite Christmas memories for others to enjoy. But most of all, we hope you remember the real Gift of Christmas. On that day long ago, when Mary gave birth to a small baby in a barn surronded by animals, we received a precious Gift. A Gift that we did not deserve, nor could we ever earn. The Gift of Salvation wrapped with enough mercy and grace to cover us from the top to the bottom.
From Barry, Cherie, Mary Catherine and Carson, we hope this season is special for you and your family. May you have a VERY Merry Christmas!