By Senator Joyce Krawiec
Christmas is a special time of year and I love every minute of it. I hope that none of you forget the reason for the season. This is the time of year when Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus. It is a very sacred religious holiday. Although, the season has become very commercialized and secular, we must remember what it is all about. It is a time for celebration, traditions, and togetherness.
I love the Christmas music and the sounds and smells of Christmas. Watching the old Christmas movies are always on my list. “Miracle on 34th Street” and “It’s a Wonderful Life” are big deals at my house. Those are the movies we always plan a special time to watch and enjoy them with a big bowl of popcorn.
The Hallmark Christmas channel is on my TV constantly. Some of those movies are so corny but I love them. I can watch them nonstop and never tire. They usually feature little towns that appear to have been taken from a storybook and lots of love. Sometimes there is a grinch in there somewhere stirring up trouble.
One thing I have learned about Christmas. Santa Claus is definitely a woman. The jolly old fat man story is just a myth. We would have no Christmas if men had to send out cards, decorate for the holidays, buy presents, wrap presents, plan meals, invite guests, etc. Never mind the task of making and delivering toys to all the good little girls and boys. It could not happen. Think about it. I’m pretty sure that most of you can verify that I am correct. Women do the majority of the work, starting months before Christmas, and most men go out on Christmas eve and do their shopping. That’s it. They’re done.
Christmas in Kernersville is special. Most small towns are, but especially Kernersville. It reminds me of those little towns in the Christmas movies on the Hallmark channel. I was raised in a small town much like Kernersville. I remember the long wait for the downtown jewelry store to decorate their store window for the holidays. At Christmas they would actually have animated displays. There would be a little lit up town with stores, church, an ice-skating rink, skiers coming down the slope, a beautiful tree and even a train making the town complete. Of course, everything was glistening with snow. It was quite an attraction. There would be families lined down the street to watch this wonderland. We thought it was amazing.
My family and I have celebrated many Christmases in this wonderful town, Kernersville. Although there have been many changes, as happens with growth, we still have the small-town atmosphere and the joyous Christmas spirit. We can still walk downtown among the shops and visit with old friends and neighbors. The Christmas parade has always been a highlight. My children participated in many of those parades throughout the years. I have marched along in a few myself. I still enjoy being in the parade, although now I ride. It is always fun and we meet new folks every year.
We used to even go out Christmas caroling. Does anybody do that anymore? I have not done it for many years.
As the children grew up, we loved to play board games. Their friends would gather at our house, and we had very competitive games that went way into the night. As college years came, we continued that tradition during the Christmas holidays when all the friends were home. Some of our best memories are rolling dice or drawing cards and having a blast with these young people. We are still able to do that on occasion. Although, most of these friends are scattered far and wide, occasionally some will stop by, and we take up where we left off.
We had live Christmas trees as the children were growing up. When my older daughter went off to college, I decided to take the easy way out and transitioned to an artificial tree. When she came home and spotted that tree, she told me that I “had ruined Christmas” and she refused to help decorate. Obviously, we went back to the live tree for a few more years. I now have a beautiful artificial tree and will never have anything else again. The children just have to deal with it. The convenience is just too enticing.
Last year was very strange with the Covid lock downs and fear of gathering in groups dominated. This year should be more like normal. Although I understand there are “supply chain” issues and we may not be able to find the “perfect gift” we have been looking for. We will be able to be together and that is more important than anything.
I hope that as you and your family gather together to celebrate this joyous occasion, you will retell the story of Christ’s birth, the journey of Joseph and Mary and the wise men. It is an old story that never really grows old and is more beautiful every time it is told.