Betty Heath: Christmas is Coming

November 24, 2018

Betty Heath From My Deck

“Christmas is a comin’ and the goose is getting fat; please put a penny in the old man’s hat. If you haven’t got a penny then a hapenny will do. If you haven’t got a hapenny then God bless you.” Actually the term is ha’penny and is British slang for “half penny.” You can’t even find ha’pennies these days.

Christmas shouldn’t be about worshiping at the great halls of merchandizing anyway.

What ever happened to crafty, homemade gifts? Why can’t we set aside electronic toys and gadgets for just one Christmas and find out how rewarding and special a gift from the heart can mean to someone? I’m not here to decry Christmas. After all, it is the most wonderful time of the year. We celebrate the holiday season in so many ways. There are all the parties, shopping, baking and special events that are keep us busy and in the spirit of the season.

Actually, the season started early for me this year. I’ve been known to be the last person on the block to decorate my tree and hang the holiday wreath on the door. But, this year I surprised everyone by having decorations up this past week.

I love my Christmas tree. I enjoy each memory of each ornament that I hang on the tree.

The oldest ornament I have is of a small choir boy holding a candle that hung on my Christmas tree when I was a girl. One Christmas my mother decided we should only have a small tree that we could set on a table by the window. It was during WWII and times were hard. We had rations for everything from gasoline to sugar.

My mother also decided we should have only one light on our Christmas tree. Only one light? Whoever heard of such a thing? Not me! I was bummed. Mother tried to lighten the mood by asking me to choose what color the light should be. I absolutely determined it should be red; one bright red light would make the tree presentable in my eyes. But, she said I had to choose between blue or green; red was not an option.

I moped and sulked because to me it just wouldn’t look like a Christmas tree without a red light on it. I was just a kid and had no idea what the connotation of a red light meant. All I knew was we lived in a small town where there was a large army camp. I saw the soldiers downtown every weekend, but I had no idea what a red light in the window meant! My mother won and we had a blue light in our tree that year. When I saw my one present under that tree, I thought it was the most beautiful Christmas tree in the whole world.

Celebrate what’s good in your world this holiday season. When baking your goodies bake enough for the police or firefighters in your area — just because. Decorate your tree with things from your past. Make your holiday a time of togetherness and love. Give from your heart, not from your wallet.

If you are looking for a special event for those special children in your life, The Mr. and I will be helping Santa again this year by listening to children’s Christmas wishes at the Firestone Holiday Festival on Dec. 1 from noon to 4 p.m.

As you celebrate the holidays with family and friends my hope is for it to be one of the happiest times of the year for you — even if you don’t find a ha’penny in your stocking.

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