If you’re keeping track, here is a brief recap of my favorite Christmas Memories:
2021: Christmas Eve … with Family, Friends and Santa Claus!
2020: Downtown … in my hometown … at Christmas
2019: Christmas at the local Mart
2018: Christmas, family and trains
2017: Christmas Eve with Aunt Louise
2016: Taking the train to New York City with family members just before Christmas
2015: Visiting the Philadelphia department stores between Thanksgiving and Christmas
This year, it’s “Decorating our grammar school classroom for Christmas!”
Our story begins with Thanksgiving … the second “most wonderful time of the year,” and … a time to give thanks with family and friends. Thanksgiving is also the official beginning of the Christmas Season! In grammar school, the week of Thanksgiving was filled with excitement! On Monday or Tuesday of Thanksgiving week - before school was dismissed for the Thanksgiving Holiday — our teacher would ask the class if anyone would like to come to school on the Saturday after Thanksgiving to assist in decorating the classroom for Christmas. This was strictly on a volunteer basis, and not mandatory. All that was required from us was to bring our lunch. Well … when I got home from school that day, I asked my mom what she thought, and both her and I agreed that it would be a fun thing to do … and it was!
Thanksgiving Day was here! We spent Thanksgiving Day at grandmom and grandpop’s house, with our aunts, uncles and mom and dad. Shortly after dinner, many other family members and friends began to arrive, to join us in celebrating the joyous and festive holiday!
As Thanksgiving Day came to a close, we knew that Christmas Day was not far away!
The Saturday after Thanksgiving finally arrived! It was the day to decorate our classroom for Christmas! We were asked to arrive at school at 10 a.m. Aside from our teacher, there were about five classmates present (including me!) Our teacher brought several boxes and bags full of decorations, including (but not limited to) red and green crepe streamers (paper), bows, garland, wreaths, bells, candy canes, stockings, Christmas posters and signs, a display with Santa in his sleigh — led by nine reindeer, a Christmas tree, lights, balls and tinsel (for the tree), and most importantly, a nativity display. She even brought a record player (remember those?), so that we could listen to Christmas carols! We continued to decorate until around noon, when we took a break for lunch, which consisted of the sandwiches we brought from home.
Our teacher supplied the beverage (a fruit drink) and Christmas cupcakes (with red and green icing) for dessert. After lunch, we continued decorating for about two more hours, until our work was complete. In just a few hours, we had successfully turned our classroom into a “magical classroom of Christmas!” It was so rewarding to look at and enjoy the finished product, accomplished by a few classmates — and our teacher — all working together. Plus, it was so much fun “being in school, without being in class!” Our classroom took on an entirely different perspective, as opposed to a room designed for us to think, study and work. Thanks to the guidance and direction of our teacher, along with several classmates, the next three weeks of school in our class were nothing short of momentous, with the spirit of Christmas guiding us through our schoolwork. As an aside, working alongside our teacher was so extra special. During the school week, it was strictly business, as she “shaped our minds” while teaching us “reading, writing and arithmetic.” But on this day, it was all about having fun and Christmas! When Christmas vacation finally arrived, it was almost sad to leave our classroom behind. However, the excitement and joy of Christmas, along with spending the Christmas holiday with family and friends, soon filled the temporary emptiness caused by the last day of school ... in our “magical classroom of Christmas!”
I want to thank you for allowing me to share another one of my Christmas memories with you. Although it was many years ago, the fond memories of decorating our classroom for Christmas still fill a very special place in my mind and in my heart. As I reminisce, I am taken back to those very special Christmases and just how truly wonderful they were. Those beloved moments created by our family, friends, teachers and classmates will last a lifetime, and have become even more priceless through the years. The school weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are truly nothing less than moments “frozen in time.” To this very day, I find it difficult to find the proper words that can effectively describe how much I will forever cherish those precious and magical Christmas remembrances.
There is no doubt that Christmas is definitely the most joyous time of the year. It’s also one of the best times to make someone else’s day a little brighter, especially during these trying times. This Christmas holiday season, please take a moment of your time to visit a relative or friend who is special to you, especially someone you haven’t seen or spoken with in a while. If you cannot visit, a phone call will work (which is more personal than a text message or email).
You can rest assured it will not only mean a lot to the person you reached out to, but will most certainly make you feel good, too. As an added bonus, your thoughtfulness and kindness will evoke the true meaning of Christmas.
In closing, please accept my sincerest gratitude for your continued friendship, interest and support. It is most greatly appreciated and respected.
Merry Christmas to you and your family. May all your wishes and dreams come true. Peace and blessings.
President & General Manager
The Seashore Lines