IN THE SPOTLIGHT November 24, 2023

Getting to the Heart of the Holidays: Fond Memories of My Past Celebrations

I love the diversity of the holiday season. There are many different celebrations in December, one of which may reflect your own heritage and belief system. My father was a minister in a small farming community in Oregon when I was growing up, and our traditions rooted in Christian beliefs. I looked forward to participating in Christmas pageants at school and church.

I look back fondly on the memory of our youth group being transported by a tractor-drawn wagon filled with hay bales, scrabbling out to sing Christmas carols in front of homes throughout the rural community. I remember visiting Lipman’s Department Store lining up for a cookie from the Cinnamon Bear and hoping he wouldn’t recognize me as my brothers and I went back for seconds…and thirds. I remember trimming our fresh Christmas tree with colored lights and tinsel, which my mother insisted had to be hung individually.

What I don’t remember (except for a couple) are the gifts I received. As I have grown older, I have come to realize that what matters most are the traditions that come from the time we spend with each other. Time spent with friends and loved ones adds to the texture and richness of our lives. It is truly the greatest gift of all. This year, no matter what holiday and traditions you celebrate, my wish for you is the gift of time.