From my earliest memories our family has celebrated Christmas. As a Christian family, we celebrated the birth of Christ. Thankfully, I grew up in a balanced home and society that celebrated both the religious and the secular side of Christmas.
Now, I just have to say this about this wonderful season: from what I remember, this holiday was just that - one day. Now the holiday season starts before Halloween and sometimes during the summer. "Christmas in July" is a yearly celebration. I'm not sure what brought this on, but it is a mid-year celebration.
The Saturday after Halloween I was in a store that had already put their boxed Christmas cards on display. I just shook my head in dismay. I certainly wasn't ready to start preparing for this end-of-the year holiday so soon. Then, shortly after that, the Christmas sales papers started arriving in the mail or showing up on display in stores. It's yet another disappointment for me, because I'm accustomed to Christmas being a very short but beautiful season. In recent years, the holiday season has grown longer and longer. I wonder where it's going to stop?
Anyway, let's go back to the 50s and pick up from there. As I said, my family recognized this holiday as both a fun and sacred time. And, no, we didn't work on that day. Regardless as to what day Christmas took place on, it was a day that we went to Church for the Christmas play (in which we kids participated).
I especially looked forward to this season coming around, because unlike today, that's about the only time we got apples, oranges, hard candies, exotic nuts, and a few much-treasured toys. At church, the Ladies Auxiliary prepared gift bags for all the kids with fresh fruits, candies and nuts. While that wasn't the main focus of Christmas, for us poor country kids, it sure was a nice additional treat. I'm forever grateful to those kind and benevolent ladies for thinking of us little ones and for sharing with us in the spirit of Christmas love.