From the Stacks

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Julie Orf

Dunklin County Library

“Christmas: that magic blanket that wraps itself about us, that something so intangible that it is like a fragrance. It may weave a spell of nostalgia. Christmas may be a day of feasting, or of prayer, but always it will be a day of remembrance: a day in which we think of everything we have ever loved.” – Augusta E. Rundel

Often times the anticipation of an event is more exciting than the actual event. Christmas may be a family-oriented holiday for some; but for others, this day may be another day to work or a day of loneliness. As I get older, I recall childhood Christmases with great sentiment and laughter. The aluminum tree with the red and green ornaments lit with the ever-changing color wheel stood next to the cardboard fireplace where our stockings were hung. On Christmas Eve, we would receive new pajamas whether footed pj’s with “Hickory Dickory Dock” and a matching hat or a Miss Elaine red peignoir set from James Kahn. Either way, a posed picture on the crushed velvet living room couch was taken.

Christmas Eve meant a big family gathering at my sister’s house as I got a little older. We would draw names on Daddy’s birthday at the end of October. Appetizers, sweets and those little BBQ wienies in the crockpot were our feast, and everyone opened presents with much appreciation for the gift and the giver. Daddy seemed to get a new plaid shirt with just enough red or a coffee thermos but he always exclaimed, “Oh, boy! Just what I wanted!” A new pair of red felt Deerfoam house shoes were a standard gift for Moma. Watching my nieces and nephews tear open their presents was fun as the varied reactions would be recorded with a snap of the camera. The laughter and the tradition of these celebrations are a comfort full of warmth and safety.

Trying to recreate some of these traditions for my four children, I have failed. The big family gatherings are gone after Moma and Daddy passed, and my siblings have families with grandchildren. Focusing on the true meaning of Christmas and giving to others are vital to our celebration. New pajamas are a must as is the three present rule (Baby Jesus got three gifts! How could I ask for more!). By the time Christmas Day is here, my family’s desire for dressing, green bean casserole, and ham is exhausted. So, my kids select any meal they so desire whether that is steak, lasagna, tamales, or something completely new. Christmas Day means being together.

Christmas is a time to pause and take in all the beauty and delights and reminisce. Fortunately, time allows us to recall more love and joy than loss. And, there is room in our hearts for new Christmas memories.

Looking around our Dunklin County the past few weeks, the lights and displays in each town are different yet the friendly greetings contain the joy. If you wish to share some community spirit, attend “Hallelujah on the Square” at the Dunklin County Library in Kennett on Sunday evening, December 23, 2018, at 5:30 pm. This tradition of singing Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” from The Messiah will invigorate your holiday.

Finally, I offer the Dunklin County Library’s version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas”! I hope your day is wrapped in memories and the making of more!

“On the first day of Christmas my library gave to me a new Winter Reading Challenge!

On the second day of Christmas my library gave to me two passcodes to ebooks!

On the third day of Christmas my library gave to me three Berenstain Bears!

On the fourth day of Christmas my library gave to me four books renewed!

On the fifth day of Christmas my library gave to me five groovy bookmarks!

On the sixth day of Christmas my library gave to me six Patterson novels!

On the seventh day of Christmas my library gave to me seven volumes of Shakespeare!

On the eighth day of Christmas my library gave to me eight prime locations!

On the ninth day of Christmas my library gave to me nine children’s programs!

On the tenth day of Christmas my library gave to me ten public computers!

On the eleventh day of Christmas my library gave to me eleven Hardy Boy mysteries!

On the twelfth day of Christmas my library gave to me twelve months of reading for free!”

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