is a Special Timeby Murray Montgomery
has always been a special time of the year in our family. Getting
together with our loved ones on Christmas Eve is something that we
look forward to all year long.
Ever since I can remember, we always go to over to my parentís house
for the get together. Up until last year, Momma would always fix the
meal for everybody Ė usually it would be turkey and ham with all the
other side dishes like broccoli casserole, cornbread dressing, mashed
potatoes, gravy, fruit salad, and all kind of pies. You name it and
Momma had it. And Daddy has his special thing to do (besides eating)
and that is making those stuffed jalapeno peppers Ė I usually eat
way too many of these.
Last year everyone figured that Momma deserved a break and other family
members took up the slack and fixed the meal. The gathering was held
at my brotherís house, so she didnít have to worry about cleaning
up after the mob. I donít know why anyone would think that she needed
a break; after all sheís only been doing this about 60 years or more.
But this year sheís back at it, on a limited basis, and will fix the
ham and turkey. She said the rest of our bunch could provide the other
goodies. But Iíd be willing to bet that she will still do more than
Somewhere about the time I reached middle age, it came to me that
my folks really knew the true meaning of Christmas, and I didnít.
For example; I remember, on more than one occasion, sitting down to
eat the holiday feast with a stranger seated on each side of me. ďWhatís
this,Ē I thought, ďisnít this Christmas meal supposed to be just for
me and the rest of our family, not some people Iíve never seen!Ē
When I asked who these strangers were, Momma replied, ďOh they are
part of a construction crew working on the road in front of the house.
They are a married couple from another state and they didnít have
family here to spend Christmas with, so we invited them to join us.Ē
My folks are like that. Theyíve never really met a stranger because
it seems that after they know someone for only a short while, they
become lifelong friends.
In later years, I realized that inviting strangers for Christmas dinner
is the right thing to do and we probably should do it more often.
After all, the whole meaning of the holiday is to show love for your
fellow man Ė at least thatís the way I was taught.
Itís sad that this spirit of giving is only apparent at this time
of the year. I figure that if we would show compassion and love for
others all year long, it might just make this old world a better place
to live. I am proud to say that my folks have this outlook all the
Over the years, Christmas has become commercialized and many of todayís
children donít know the reason for the celebration other than itís
a time to receive gifts. Again, itís up to the parents to teach them
the true meaning of the holiday.
Some in the news media now tell us that Christmas isnít really politically
correct. In other words, if we celebrate the birth of Christ we might
offend someone. Iím not a religious fanatic but the last time I looked
Christians made up 80 per cent of this countryís population. That
is certainly a majority and how we can let a handful of people decide
what we should call this special event is beyond me.
In our family, the holiday is called ďChristmasĒ and we have ďChristmas
trees.Ē Thatís the way we were taught and thatís what we taught our
kids. I trust our children are teaching their little ones the same
values that their ancestors possessed.
Merry Christmas and God Bless.