Thursday, December 16, 2010
It is easy for me to get teary eyed this time of year listening to Christmas music. Songs like “Chestnut Roasting on an Open Fire” and “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” sure do make me think of my parents and wonderful times of the past.
There is no way I can begin to tell you how fortunate I was to have parents like I had. The Christmas season somehow causes me to appreciate them a little extra.
When I was a kid, I worked at my daddy’s store. That would be the store that sold “everything from Evinrude motors to hoop cheese.” Christmas Eve was the busiest day of the year. Not only were the townspeople buying groceries the day before Christmas but they would also come by to pick up their “Santa Claus” they either had on “layaway” or had just left at the store to hide from their kids. We had tons of bicycles, wagons, guns, fishing equipment and who knows what else at the store waiting to be picked up.
We tried to close by 6PM but we never got out of there by then. When we did close, we would head home and then as a family go to the Reynolds Methodist Church to take communion. All the families in the church did the same. The church was open for several hours on Christmas Eve and the minister would stay there to serve families as they came in. There would usually be another family taking communion when we arrived. We would sit in the pews in silence and wait for the other family to finish. We would quietly hug the family leaving, wish them a Merry Christmas and then our family, as a group would kneel at the alter and take communion.
Actually this tradition continued long after I was a kid. Our family took communion together at the Methodist church every year until my parents died.
After the brief communion service, we would head home and have a feast. I’m not talking about a meat and three either. It was a feast. My mama was a very talented lady and cooking was one of her best talents.
My lord she could cook.
We had fun eating too. As you might imagine, we would carry on a little foolishness at the table.
After the meal ( the crowd got bigger and bigger as grandchildren came on the scene), we would gather in the living room to open presents.
Then the stories would begin. Goddard men would sit in front of a Goddard wife, not necessarily his wife, so their head could get scratched.
In later years, grandchildren would be mesmerized by the stories. Goddard men getting their head scratched or shoulders rubbed while telling stories.
People pay me good money to tell those stories these days.
My mom and dad had stories of their own. But as they got older, they mainly just sat back, listened and laughed at the people they had created.
I think the best memories of my life are from Christmas’ past.
I love meeting folks. I am very fortunate to have so many friends and I love every one of them. I love what I get to do everyday to make a living, I love all the speaking engagements.
But nothing, and I mean nothing compares to the time I get to spend with my family,
During the next two weeks, I plan on doing a lot of that.
I hope you do the same.