Comings and goings…Go see the Christmas lights

By Jean Gordon

I remember years ago an episode of The Golden Girls concluded with the four friends in a diner on Christmas after their plans were changed and suddenly snow began to fall. It was the happiest time ever. After all who doesn’t dream of a white Christmas? Even in Miami.

What is it that makes the aroma of mulling spices heating over a stove bring happy thoughts of Christmas? Or why does the photograph of a trailer hooked to a cub tractor driven by Daddy hauling four young sisters and our Mama and our fresh cut cedar tree back home where we would create some of the best memories of Christmas at our house make me smile?

It’s November and we’re beginning to think about the holiday season.

What better time to remember our family and friends than Thanksgivings and Christmas as we reflect on times we spent together as children and adults.

If you’re new to Rutherford County plan right now to become involved in some of the events marking the most wonderful times of the year. Share the season with those you love.

 On Thanksgiving evening, Nov. 25, the town of Forest City will turn on its more than a million lights as thousands gather in the downtown square for music, laughter and other sights of the season. These days as we’re still pledging to be healthy, some gatherings may be smaller again this year, but even so I am grateful to have made it to another Thanksgiving.

As we gather together to ask the Lord’s blessings on Thanksgiving Day, could it be we might show more gratitude than ever for family, friends and health?

Although my immediate family isn’t always together on Thanksgiving Day, we still talk about those days of having a table spread with turkey, dressing, gravy, green beans and corn when we were all still at home. The best meal of the year usually came after working in the yard or field which made it even more special.

Christmas traditions for me can mean gathering with sisters, brothers-in-laws, nieces, nephews and their children often at my house or at a niece’s home. My house is small but that makes it even more special as we pile into the same living room where I grew up. There are times I can still see the small cedar tree decorated with strands of red, blue, orange, green and white lights shining ever so bright. There are photos in family albums of my three sleepy-eyed sisters and I sitting on the floor holding tightly to our new baby dolls Santa Claus left us.

We always traveled to our grandparents’ house for Christmas dinner where we shared a meal and listened as Grandpa read from Luke 2 — the Greatest Story Ever Told. Later we exchanged gifts.

‘Tis the season and I for one can hardly wait. Chimney Rock and Lake Lure will suddenly take on renewed brightness with white lights, blue and green ones at homes, businesses and The Flowering Bridge.

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year as we meet with friends, loved ones, enjoy the colors of the season, attend church candlelight services, hear our favorite songs and watch Christmas movies. A favorite tradition as a child was getting into the family car to “go see the Christmas lights.” We only did that one night during the season — which made it so special.

Maybe as we prepare for Christmas 2021, we’ll pass by that pasture where our cedar tree grew that would later be the most beautiful Christmas tree ever seen and give thanks for memories. We will remember our Christmases past as we look to this season in 2021 with the same hope and joy that comes during this time of the year.

Ring those bells, give big and be a bright light shining in your home and community. And who knows? The snow just may fall on our little towns and communities.

 After all, ’tis the season.

°Jean Gordon spent her career in the newspaper business in Rutherford County and is a freelance writer.

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