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‘Tis the season to fall in love with holiday

It’s the time of year when the world falls in love…

I love that song, “The Christmas Waltz.” When I hear it, I think about Daddy because this was his time of the year. I think that every Christmas he fell in love with the holiday all over again.

Maybe it was memories of his childhood or perhaps the season gave him permission to be a kid for a few weeks. Whatever the reason, he, and Mother, made it a special time at our house.

It started with the arrival of the much-anticipated Sear’s Christmas Catalog. My brothers, sisters and I spent hours pouring through its pages.

We’d lie on the floor flipping through pictures of clothes, shoes and other practical stuff to get to the toy section. Ah, the possibilities spilling out before us. Baby dolls that laughed and cried and wet. Tea sets and toy kitchens that filled the imagination with wonder.

The boys ooh’d and ahh’d over cowboy hats, train sets and the much-coveted BB gun. There were rockets and trucks and racecars. Roller skates, tricycles and bikes got attention from both boys and girls.

Sometimes Daddy sat with us, laughing as we pointed out what we wanted from Santa. He reminded us Santa’s sleigh could only hold so much so we needed to make sure the things we wanted most were at the top of our lists.

One year he handed us the catalog with this instruction.

“Go through that toy section and mark everything you don’t want,” he said, giving us pencils.

Well, I don’t remember exactly how that turned out, but I do recall the stress of trying to decide what toys to mark through.

After lists, it was time for the tree, and that only happened two weeks before the big day. We’d stuff ourselves into the mile-long yellow station wagon and head to Christmas Tree Land. I was sure there were elves everywhere at that place watching to see if we behaved so they could make a final report to the big guy.

With the perfect tree picked, we headed home singing carols as we rode, our heads filled with the fragrance of evergreen. I can hear Daddy’s voice as he joined us for a chorus of “Jingle Bells.”

Once the tree was up, the house became a magical place, the spirit of Christmas living in every corner. When I think of it, I see smiles passing between my parents as we sat in front of the tree dreaming and imagining what Christmas morning might hold. There is a peaceful feeling that rushes over me as I remember their faces, think of that sweet time.

This morning I reminisced with Mother about Christmas-past. She told me she and Daddy had a special shopping day when they bought the bulk of our presents. By the time I was 14, there were six kids so I can’t imagine what it took to get most of the shopping done in a day.

We laughed about the Christmas Eves they spent assembling toys after they got us to bed.
“We knew we better not get out of bed or we’d be in trouble,” I said. “I don’t know how y’all were so quiet putting stuff together.”

“It was hard,” Mother said, laughing, “especially putting it together on wood floors.”

I close my eyes and a movie of Christmas mornings plays. Laughter and wrapping paper fill the living room. Daddy and Mother are sleepy-eyed sipping coffee as they take in the chaos around them. Magic and wonder and peace on earth live in those memories.

Yes, this was Daddy’s season to fall in love with over and over. So, from him, and me, I leave you with this …

It’s that time of year when the world falls in love
Ev’ry song you hear seems to say “Merry Christmas,
“May your New Year dreams come true”
And this song of mine in three-quarter time
Wishes you and yours the same thing, too …