Memories last into senility

Published 7:58 pm Monday, December 10, 2007

By Staff
Thursday morning of last week found a little elf running through our building delivering bags of goodies to employees.
In the bags we found apples, oranges, bananas, a handful of walnuts, a couple of candy canes and even some red and green Christmas candies.
After opening the wonderful bag marked with a big “Ho, Ho, Ho” I began to remember some of the things that made Christmas special when I was a child.
If I've told you this story before, I'm sorry. Remember, I'm headed straight for senility.
We've all had times from our childhood that will be fond memories until the senility sets in. As a matter of fact, from what I have learned over the last few months, when a person becomes senile, the things they remember most are the times they had as a child.
In my gathering years I'm finding it more easy to remember those precious times I spent in my childhood as the family began preparing for Christmas.
Sometime in early December, usually on a Sunday afternoon, the entire family would load up into the truck and head off to the woods for a little hunting. We weren't hunting four-legged creatures, we were looking for a tall, green tree to serve as the focal point of our living room through the holidays.
As far as other things we did during my childhood years, I've taken some of those actions and have made them a tradition in my own family.
For my dad, there were certain things you had to have in the house to make Christmas official. It was necessary to have a bowl of walnuts waiting to be cracked somewhere in the living room. Brazil nuts were also popular with our family and we always had to have a fresh coconut. Candy dishes had to hold orange slices, chocolate cream mounds and soft peppermint sticks.
The Christmas dinner had to consist of ham, candied yams, potato salad, yeast rolls and plenty of dessert. The dessert table had to hold at least one fruitcake for my mother, a raisin and pecan cake for my dad and all the other goodies for the children. We had fudge, chocolate-oatmeal cookies, usually a pecan pie (or two) and sometimes a coconut cake (if the fresh coconut survived a hungry mob).
I don't care for fruitcake, but you can bet there will be one on the dessert table for my mother. I will have at least one (probably two or three) pecan pies on the table. There will be divinity, fudge and an array of cookies available as well this holiday season.
I have plenty of fruit including apples, oranges, tangelos and tagged raisins at my house in anticipation of the coming holiday.
If you come to my house during the holidays, you are certain to find a bowl of walnuts. Chances are you may still find them in January, but it wouldn't be Christmas without them. You will also find at least one bag of orange slices, one bag of chocolate mounds and even some peppermint candy.
I have come to realize those memories will be with me forever. Those memories are important and I hope that I can keep them alive by passing them on to my child. I want him to be able to gather with his children someday and tell them what was important to his mom during the holidays. When he tells them those stories, my daddy's Christmas will still be alive.
I know they don't deliver The Brewton Standard in heaven, but I hope somehow Daddy gets the message. Merry Christmas Daddy, this walnut's for you.
Lisa Tindell is the news editor for The Brewton Standard. She can be reached by email at lisa.tindell@brewtonstandard.com.