I love this time of year, I hate this time of year. What do I love about this time of year, you ask? I love the festiveness, love of the birth of Christ, the giving, the hibernation of plant life that is awaiting rebirth in three or four months. This is the time that others are seen giving when, actually, it should be done all year ‘round. I love looking at the outdoor decorations, the extreme people have gone to outdo others and wonder how much is spent to do it. I love to watch the joy on the faces of small children as they see the toys, Santa and colorful lights. I love it all and remember my times at that age.
I hate this time of year because it reminds me of my age, of time gone by and of all the well-intentioned money spent on unnecessary things. Bah-humbug? No, just being my practical self. Although this blog comes out at Christmas, I am reminded that at the birth of Christ He did not have much. I hate all the scammers and robbers out there. I hate all the organizations with their hands out, getting plenty of cash so their company officers can get richer. This time of year is a love/hate thing for me.
I long for what is in my memory. A simple life, a simpler time. Smelling the wood fires. These were not just fireplaces, I never knew any family that had one, but wood and coal fires were used for heating and cooking. It was a necessity during my upbringing. I long for looking at the snow-covered houses with smoke curling out the chimney, looking like a picture transformed from a Christmas card. I long for walking into the house, smelling the fire and food slowly cooking on the stovetop. I remember those days, I long for those days and will forever cherish them.
Everyone went to church and it was always more festive during winter. The congregation not only worked together to make Christmas more festive, but they all focused on the upcoming New Year Watch Night and Easter. All festive events were planned many months in advance and everyone pitched in. Church was the starting point as well as the ending for everyone (your baptismal and your funeral). The entire family went to church and, along with the other families, the entire church was family which made everyone a relative.
Today, young people may have heard about this, but they cannot completely grasp the idea of an era like this. Each succeeding era have a time like this with each era getting more modernized than the previous. Today, young people do not have the time to see the lights, go places that they may smell the chimney smoke, go to church or, if they go to church, work together for months for some far away event in the church. There are many young people that can not cook, have parents that do cook and have never seen a wood burning stove or food cooked on one.
The young people have their phones and tablets, but they cannot smell those by-gone things from long ago through them. They can Google the past but will never experience it. They will never stand in the snow or cold wind and hear nothing but the sound of that wind or see the lights twinkling. The lights were not made that way, but the natural atmosphere make them twinkle, everything is serene. I guess I am old, longing for things that will never be again, but I will never forget them and will forever cherish them.