What Christmas Means to Me

christmas means

Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year

by Mike Dukes editor of Columbus Georgia Online

Christmas Candy
Old-fashioned Holiday hard candy. yum!

The Holy Season of Christmas will soon be here again. I was just thinking, what do these Holy days mean in my life?

I’m 69 years old and believe me the world I grew up in was innocent compared to what we have today.

I spent my early years growing up in Albany, Ga. There were no murders daily on TV, the big news was a military plane crash in a field just outside of town. I was six years old before I got my first chance to see a TV. As a child, I spent most of my time playing with my friends outside.  We cleared fields and played sand-lot baseball. We learned to throw a nice spiraled football, We built forts and club houses and we rode our bikes, and we put playing cards in the bike spokes, held there by clothespins. Those cards in our wheels spokes made our bikes sound just like a motorcycle, yea. We shot marbles and played cowboys and Indians, we were always looking for adventure, not trouble. As a kid, we all loved Davy Crockett, Tom Mix, Roy Rogers and Gene Autry. All good guys. Those guys righted the wrongs in the wild west. Very good role models. We didn’t play with bad kids. We also didn’t do a lot of hanging around, we didn’t have the time.

My Dad was the Superintendent in charge, of leveling all the land for the new Marine Supply Depot Base. Since Albany was the home to many Indian tribes over the years, Dad would bring home arrow-heads. I’d be waiting for him around 6 o’clock every evening and on Saturdays, he would sometimes take me with him out to the job site. Very cool. Awesome, was a word reserved for Superman and Batman and maybe even Dick Tracey.

One of my favorite things was going to the movies on Saturday morning, all the kids would be there, lined up to get in. The screen would be filled with cowboys and Indians, spacemen and creatures and of course with Warner Brothers cartoons. I would get a Charms lollipop on the way in, and finish it up by the time the shows were over. OK, I said all that to say this, here we go,

Christmas was a very big deal, different from today, Christmas was the one day every kid looked forward to and we started counting down the days about two months out. Downtown was decorated and everyone was in the spirit. we saw plenty of Christmas cheer, manger scenes,  Then were the sounds of Christmas, Red Cross kettles I love those bells and the ringers, and stores with  trains in the windows and Santas waiting for us to tell them what we wanted him to bring us. There was merry excitement in the air. Churches told us about the birth of Christ, the baby Jesus.

We understand no one really knows the real calendar date Jesus was born on, so our ancestors choose a date for the celebration, and we celebrate on Dec. 25th of every year, it’s just that simple. Everyone has always been invited to join in. Santa was always for the children. The birth of Jesus was for the good of all people. A simple way to be assured of going to heaven with an open invitation to all. Choose to believe or not to be believed. It’s your free choice to make. That generation had more time on their hands than we do today. We had more time to get in touch with God. Things move too fast today and there are many other things to do. Remember the phrase, “idle hands do the devils work”? Of course not, things that instilled good habits in people have been replaced with secular sciences. How’s that working out for you?

I don’t think I ever met anyone from a foreign country, didn’t have any buddies who didn’t like girls. The word Gay meant happy and carefree, not a life style definition, if you were bad you got a whipping, and I didn’t know anyone who didn’t believe in God.

Each Christmas we would go for a drive to see Christmas lights. That ride was magic because I really believed Santa was real, it was part of the magic of Christmas. I remember listing to Christmas songs on the radio, staring out the car window to look up at the stars, hoping to get a glimpse of Santa and his reindeer in the dark sky. Nothing is better than a child’s imagination.

At home, mom baked cookies and finished off the decorations.  Christmas eve was the only night of the year when I could stay up a little later. I always had a hard time going to sleep on Christmas eve, all kids did, and still do. When we went back to school we would talk about how hard it was to fall asleep, with everyone trying to tell a better story.

As long as I live I will be grateful to my Mom and Dad for letting me enjoy the magic of Christmas and making it so special. This Holy Day teaches a lot about the birth of Christ Jesus, the most important child-birth in history.

The world is no longer innocent, the Arabs have gone crazy, crooked politics, and God is not the most important thing in citizen’s lives, what a shame. My family still celebrates Christmas with the same joy I always had.  From our children to the grandchildren and the entire Dukes Family we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May God bless you all. And may the Holy Spirit soften the hearts of all non-believers. I hope you still celebrate Christmas with your families and enjoy Santa, but never forget Dec. 25th was the day chosen for Christians to celebrate the birth of Christ. Christ is the reason for the Season in my family.

Gob bless ye all you gentlemen, and ladies. Have an Official Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

by Mike Dukes editor of Columbus Georgia Online

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