It’s hard to believe that it is already Christmas. Santa will soon be making his yearly run around the globe, delighting both children and adults alike. Christmas is the most magical holiday of them all, and it holds very deep and special meanings for all of us who celebrate it.
It certainly did for my family back when I was growing up in Juliette, Georgia. Ever notice how a certain Christmas will just stick in your mind? The one when I was an eight year old boy certainly did. I can remember being so impatient for it to arrive, each day was like the equivalent of ten, and I was starting to wonder if Santa would ever get a chance to bring me all of the goodies I wanted.
In fact, I was so impatient that I was sitting on our den sofa one pre-Christmas Saturday afternoon with my nose stuck deep into the pages of our Sears’ catalogue. I was perusing it for about the ten thousandth time when I heard the front door open, and then I heard some cursing that could only have come from one man. I immediately got up and ran into the living room to see what was causing all of the commotion.
What was causing it all was my dad, Ed Jr. He was trying to drag this big cedar tree through our front door and into the living room. My dad always went into the woods each year about two weeks prior to Christmas and cut down a cedar tree. All of them were pretty big, but the one he had in his hands was the biggest one I’d ever seen. My eyes went up and down it several times, and I can remember saying, “Wowwwww…..”
Ed Jr. stopped pulling on the tree limbs for just a second when he heard me, and said, “Hey, Al (his nickname for me, you’ll have to email me to find out why I got tagged with it). This damn tree is about to whup me, but I need a real big one this year.”
I was intrigued, and asked, “Why such a big one?”
“Well son, we’re gonna have a blue tree this year.”
“A blue one?”
“Al, we’re only gonna put blue lights and blue ornaments on this tree. I really want to do that. Don’t you think it’ll look great?”
Honestly, I thought it would look just like the top of a police car, but I didn’t want to tell him that. He seemed so excited about it, so I just smiled at him and nodded. After that, Ed Jr. went back to pulling on those tree limbs. Finally, after about fifteen more minutes, he managed to get the tree into our living room. From there, he popped it into the stand, and then he went on into the kitchen to let my mom know that we could decorate it. But only with blue stuff. And that’s exactly what we did.
Christmas Day rolled around a few days later, and I got tons of great stuff. My mother and brother did as well. We were all real happy, but it seemed that Ed Jr. was the happiest of us all, and it was mostly due to his blue Christmas tree. I really didn’t understand why until my mom explained it to me later on in the day. She told me that my dad had a real good friend in the Korean War who had died in combat. One of the things he’d always wanted was to have a blue Christmas tree, as blue was his deceased mother’s favorite color, and he thought a blue tree would remind him of her.
Unfortunately, he died in the war and never had a chance to put one up. So, my dad did it for him on this particular Christmas. My mom told me she hoped that somewhere up in heaven that Ed Jr.s’ friend could see what he had done. Then, my mom looked right into my eyes, and said, “Honey, your father is happy because he did something for someone he cares about. That’s why Christmas makes us feel so special inside.” I think that even at the age of eight that I pretty well understood what she saying.
So, for each of you reading this, have the best Christmas, and go out and make some special memories for yourselves that will last a lifetime….