I always get sentimental during the time leading up to Christmas. Growing up in my little hometown of Nolan – Christmas was always about family.
I remember how exciting it was to put up the Christmas tree and decorate it each year. We didn’t quite start as early as many folks do these days. However, that anticipation for a youngster helped lead to the excitement.
Over the years my family had different types of Christmas trees.
For many years the traditional tree was always a live green pine.
Then one year my mother Charlotte Hope decided she wanted to get one of those new-fangled silver aluminum trees. There was a multi-colored spinning wheel that you sat near the tree. The different colors would reflect off of the bright silver branches.
Looking back now, I didn’t really like that tree very much. However, once mom bought it, we were stuck with it for at least three Christmas seasons.
One year as I got a little older, I got the idea of dad (Sam Lovern) and I going into the woods and cutting down our own tree.
So we headed out in his forest green Ford Falcon and up a nearby dirt road. We found a beautiful tree and he cut it down with a handsaw. We drug it to the car and put it on the roof, using sisal rope we tied it down and headed home.
There was something special about going out with my father and cutting down that tree.
My sister Karen and I soon decorated it with colorful red, blue and yellow lights, the larger kind. (Those are considered retro these days.) We carefully placed the bulbs on the tree – meticulously – so no two colors would be side by side. We placed the star at the top and it was the most beautiful tree I can remember.
Now my wife Vicki is pretty much in charge of our holiday tree. I help put the artificial tree together, but she does the decorating. I might add that she does an amazing job.
We mostly decorate for the five granddaughters (Gracie, Gabbie, Reese, Ella and our newest Nora) these days and if not for them, we may not put up a big tree or as many decorations.
Not that we are Scrooges going about saying Bah Humbug – but when you work all the time and don’t always feel up to par (things that come with age), it may not be as exciting.
But, I always come back to what the true meaning of Christmas really is – the birth of Jesus Christ. And it still warms my heart to remember how my sweet mother would sing Silent Night on Christmas Eve.
I think about family and how mom would always fix a big dinner on Christmas day and how family would visit.
As we get older those nostalgic memories seem to become more precious.
The holiday in Appalachia always seemed special and it still does.
Christmas is truly the most wonderful time of the year.
From my family to yours, I hope you have a very Merry Christmas.
(This column previously ran in past edition of the Williamson Daily News.)
(Kyle Lovern is the Managing Editor for the Williamson Daily News. He can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2277 or on Twitter @KyleLovern.)