Jan Penton Miller

Published 11:57 am Tuesday, December 6, 2022

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Shared traditions help to make lasting memories.

The sights, sounds and smells of this blessed time of year are everywhere. But one thing seems to be missing in our part of the world. If you guessed chilly weather, then you are correct! Our balmy weather seems to be a disjoint from our expectations, but don’t let anyone tell you this is new.
My friend, Anne, and I visited the lovely Brownstone Center for the Performing Arts yesterday to see the Nutcracker. All the dancers were a joy to watch, but I must admit to being a bit partial to the tiny ballerinas. They were simply adorable with their little missteps making them even more endearing. I’m sure all the parents and grandparents beamed with delight as I did when my daughter danced at her recitals a minute ago.
After the performance, Anne and I discussed the weather and how not much had changed since we were kids.

“Remember when we used to run around in shorts on Christmas?” asked Anne.
“I sure do! So many times we were wishing for a white Christmas, but got warm weather instead.”
“Well, it looks as if the cooler temps are hiding for at least the next 10 days,” Anne replied.

We decided to stop by the coffee shop for a treat on our way home and couldn’t bring ourselves to get iced coffee even though it would have been refreshing. We ordered our favorite flavors of the season and cranked up the air conditioner as we chatted and sipped on our drinks.
One Christmas tradition that is celebrated in many towns across our land is the annual Christmas parade and ours always rolls on the first Monday of December if weather permits. It seems to grow more beautiful with each passing year and it’s an opportunity to get out and mingle with others also looking for a little Christmas cheer.
It has always been one of the simple pleasures in December to ride around looking for houses decked out in lights for the holidays. This year, many seem to be getting into the spirit of things early in the season, and various displays are popping up almost everywhere I go.
I remember when the children were small we had a Santa and sleigh that we put on the housetop each year. I’m sure it wasn’t something Glen R. particularly looked forward to…putting it up, I mean. But he was a good sport about it, and the kids adored it.
Another tradition of ours on Christmas Eve was reading the Christmas story from Luke. It was considered a very special honor to be chosen for the reading and all the children took it seriously. Each year the child in charge practiced several times in anticipation of this important part of our celebration. They knew that all the gifts and food were only a small part of Christmas, but the real deal was that baby born in Bethlehem so long ago.

Miller can be reached at lilsisjan@yahoo.com.