For more than 60 years,
a publication centered on life in Mississippi.
Today is April 21, 2019

Grin 'n' Bare It

Christmas memories, again!

Kay Grafe
Kay Grafe

A few days ago Mr. Roy and I were holding our daily afternoon meeting, and he was giving me his activities report, when I said, “Well, it’s almost time to write a column again.”

He smiled. “Since this is November it must be your annual holiday column.”

I said, “Yes, and I’ve written so many over the years, I’m about out of ideas. Can you remember something that happened to you that my readers might enjoy?”

“Give me some time to think about it and I’ll come up with something.”  

Mr. Roy is an engineer by profession, but he does have some “cultural” talents, and over the years he’s helped me with editing. Mr. Roy was born in Lucedale and helped in his daddy’s Chrysler/
Plymouth business. Many people stopped by and sat around telling stories, especially during the holidays. My house was across the street from the business where he worked with his dad, when school wasn’t in session. A great way to meet my future husband.      

The next afternoon when I handed Mr. Roy’s coffee cup to him, he said, “You know, I looked back at some old holiday columns and you have just about covered every aspect of Thanksgiving and Christmas. But, when I think of the holidays, my mind skips from one memory to another. So much of the Christmas holidays are our memories of them. So, you tell me some of your fondest memories and then I'll share mine.” 

“Oh, my!” You shouldn’t have asked that. It will take a book to cover the shenanigans that I thought up during my childhood days...and even during my grown-up years.

“One of the many Christmases I spent at my Daddy Tom and Big Mama Tyner’s  house, I told my cousin Ferrell, who was a year younger, that she had to stay in bed until I awoke so we could see our toys at the same time. I’ve always been a late riser, even on Christmas. So my idea was to get some thick, wool crochet thread and tie our ankles together so if she tried to beat me out of bed, I would wake up. I woke up alright...on the wood floor with her. Not a way to start the day Christ was born, crying our eyes out.”

Mr. Roy said, “I can just imagine the two of you on the old wood floor. Now, some of my favorite memories are the years we checked the list of needy families from our church and gave our daughters money to purchase gifts for the children, while we shopped for the adults. We bought some clothes for the adults and food for the families. On Christmas mornings we delivered all of this to their homes. It still brings tears to my eyes to remember how happy they were, especially the children. 

“Now, we fill up shoe boxes for the Shoe Box Ministry overseas and choose a couple families from the Angel Tree and go shopping. I know our Methodist church always gives food to families in need year-round. Yet, the Christmas season is special for everyone.”     

He sighed. “I'll always  remember Christmas mornings when our young daughters ran downstairs where we were waiting by the Christmas tree, and jumped from one toy to another. To think about that makes me feel so happy, yet also sad that those days are over.

“But the one thing that gives me so much peace and comfort are my memories of sitting in our church at the Christmas Eve communion service. I still like to look up at that beautiful old sanctuary ceiling. And again this Christmas Eve, as ‘Silent Night’ is sung, I’ll look up and remember when I sat  there as a little boy with my mother and father and little brother; such good memories. And I’ll look up again and remember you and me and our two little girls celebrating Christmas Eve here and singing ‘Silent Night.’

“Those memories are so special. And I look forward to our daughters, their husbands and our grandchildren being with us as we celebrate the birth of our Lord. I am so thankful for these memories.”   

There is little that I can add to those Christmas memories, except to say that Mr. Roy and I sincerely appreciate our faith and family and friends, especially during this holiday season.  

As Santa says, “Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.”

Kay Grafe is the author of “Oh My Gosh, Virginia.” To order, send name, address, phone number and $16.95, plus $3.50 S&H to Kay Grafe, 2142 Fig Farm Road, Lucedale, MS 39452.

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