Merry Christmas everyone

Published 12:05 pm Monday, December 23, 2013

We’ve come to that time of year again, the beginning of the Christmas holiday. Young people and children think Christmas will never come around. But we seniors think everything comes around before we are ready for it, Christmas, or whatever is coming. Christmas time is a holiday when we get to see family members and friends we haven’t seen for a while. Let’s all hope we remember that Christmas is a religious holiday to celebrate Jesus Christ’s birth.

A big part of getting ready for Christmas is the tree and decorations that brighten up our homes and neighborhoods. It used to be common practice to go out into the woods and find a tree that we could use. Now we get our trees from stores and a couple of tree farms in our area where you can go and pick out a tree you want. A lot of the decorations have changed since the days we used ribbons and strips of aluminum that were supposed to represent icicles. Now we have gone electric, with lights that are wrapped around the house, the driveway, doors and especially the tree, making beautiful displays.

When we were kids we woke up early on Christmas morning and looked under the tree and in hanging stockings to see what presents we could find. It was sometimes a toy and many times an apple or orange.

Money was scarce in those days and families had to be saving every day and sometimes there wasn’t any money left for presents. We each had a stocking hanging from the mantel that had a candy bar or some small gift, and it was an exciting time just to see what the stocking held.

Sometimes back then the real decorations were in the local churches and everyone loved the musicals and choir presentations during the Christmas season. One thing that has slacked off lately is the decorated houses and yards.

Most folks don’t know that one of the top designers for decorations came from Shreveport, a man named Stephen Stefanou. He has made displays in Europe, New York, Canada and in many other places, such as 38-foot, 14-ton Ocean Spray Blueberry bottle that sits in GreelyPark in Manhattan. His decorations for New York City’s Rockefeller Center and Union Station in Washington, D.C. are some of the projects he is known for.

We still have our Christmas trees, different from the old days, and they are just prettier. Maybe a Louisiana native is helping others see the beauty of Christmas. This is also a time we should remember the trees and decorations are to be of a religious nature. The tree itself is a coniferous variety of pine or fir that stays green during the winter season. This is a symbol of the everlasting life of our Savior and the eternal life we have as Christians.

A string of lights reminds us that we are all connected with one another in a common goal of being a guiding light to those who are not Christians. The colored balls hung around the tree represent the shepherds and wise men who were a part of the first Christmas celebration. The bright, colored garlands looped around the tree are to show the joy of the prophets who had been telling of the coming birth of the Savior who was to be born.

The stand under the tree that holds it up straight represents the strength of our Savior and the protection He provides. The presents under the tree for friends and familv members show the love we have for one another and are representative of the Lord’s love for all of us.

The crowning glory of the whole story is the star on the top and the light above it. The star represents the birth of a new baby, Jesus Christ, who was God’s gift to erase our sins and give us everlasting life.

The light above represents the star that God used to direct the shepherds to the baby in the manger and His control and guidance of believers today.

May you all have a very Merry Christmas and remember what the tree is a symbol of still today. May God bless you one and all and keep you safe and healthy.