Christmas has always been a magical time for me since childhood. As the days march along, memories of Christmas past still fill me with wonder in December. I’m sure no one has had an idyllic childhood, but many of my Christmas memories bring me joy.
I grew up in the sixties, in a rural, suburban neighborhood outside of Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania. It was an event to go to Gables Department store in the city of Altoona. Gables was an old-fashioned department store reminiscent of Gimbals and Macys in Miracle on 34th Street. The lights, the colors, and the floors and floors of merchandise were eye-popping to my child-self. I remember holding tightly to my mother’s hand and gazing about in wonderment at the arrangement of goods for sale.
Even better are the memories of walking outside of the department store. December, in central Pennsylvania during the 1960s, meant snow. The beautifully bedecked windows, gently falling snow, and the sounds of Christmas Carols piped to the sidewalks were more magical to me than the goods inside the department store. My Mom had a lovely voice. I have firm memories of walking hand-in-hand during a late, gray, snowy afternoon. The store windows glowed, the Christmas lights showed brightly, and my mom sang in harmony with Bing Crosby singing Silver Bells. Christmas magic!
Dear Readers, may your holiday be filled with the magic and joy of the season!