The following is an edited version of a letter from Barbara Wood, of Jacksonville, that I received in 2010. I now run it each year in Good Neighbors on the Sunday before Christmas. I think of it as a Christmas card for East Texas.
Christmas is a time to tell those who mean the most to you how you really feel.
Christmas is a time to smell the aroma of cooking that was made with tender love.
Christmas is a time to consider others around you and to give and give again.
Christmas is the season to remember why we celebrate (the birth of our Savior) and on Christmas morning to tell the children why we do what we do.
Traditions that are practiced every year (become part of your) childhood memories.
I think of the times my mother and grandmother cooked the chicken and dressing. I can almost smell the aroma and see the tea cakes that Mother had made the day before.
I remember the smell of the fresh-cut Christmas tree and, as though it was the most important task in the world, taking time to decorate it.
I remember the excitement of seeing relatives we had not seen since the same time last year.
Oh, the memories of the holidays.
For those who have loved ones who cannot be with you this year, try and remember their smile, their hugs and their warm words. And for those who have loved ones who will gather, love and enjoy them like this will be your last time together. I promise you won’t regret it.
Make it a Merry Christmas.
Barbara Watson Wood