For more than 60 years,
a publication centered on life in Mississippi.
Today is January 28, 2022

Outdoors

Remembering Christmas

By Tony Kinton

Remembering Christmas

Christmas memories can take many forms and illicit an array of emotions and sentiments. Memories stepping back to childhood can be particularly poignant and are perhaps the most recalled.

Christmas for us was a grand celebration but one with few fluffs and no superfluous ingredients. We had ample farm food, and never did we go without adequate clothing. But gargantuan bundles of purchased presents simply were never a part of the season.

One paramount adventure was our going into the pasture and chopping down a small cedar for the living room. That tree, even when decorated sparingly, was, we always concluded, beautiful.

There were also those Christmas programs at that little Baptist Church down the road, the kids dressed as angels and shepherds and as Mary and Joseph. Some men wore bath robes and filled roles of the Wise Men. We all sang Christmas carols and closed with “O Holy Night.” No Wagnerian opera or Mozart sonata could compare.

And there are yet Christmas memories of hunting, memories fresh as this morning’s sunshine. We hunted during the Christmas season — squirrels and rabbits primarily, but the occasional duck and quail when opportunities presented. Wild game was a key component of sustenance back then and was only supplanted by the customary salt pork and black-eyed peas found on every New Year’s lunch table.

Daddy and I were the hunters of our family, but neighbor boys and dads joined regularly. Quiet lessons were taught and learned during such outings and formed the basis for living decently. Those lessons shaped us. And those outings set the stage for my lifestyle and vocation that eventually afforded an audience of kind and gracious readers who follow the writings of that country boy now fully grown and tasting old age.

I took my first deer during the Christmas holidays, the day after Christmas in fact — my birthday. We had to travel a considerable distance since deer were not handy to home, and that first encounter with a whitetail is etched deeply into my being. It was then and is still now sobering, intriguing, exhilarating, and yes, heartbreaking. The experience is cataloged among those lessons of life, lessons from the past that now impact the present and future.

So, Christmas is again near. I hope it makes pleasant memories for you. And I particularly hope that the true essence of this season is known and celebrated in peaceful joy for you all. Merry Christmas.

 

Tony Kinton has been an active outdoors writer for 30 years. He lives in Carthage and is a Central Electric member. Visit www.tonykinton.com or email tkinton@bellsouth.net for more information.

Site designed by Marketing Alliance, Inc.