Mid Illinois, Springfield / Decatur

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Princess of Christmas Past

  December 05, 2018

By Sherry Gordon-Harris, Health Alliance

As a child, my favorite time of year was Christmastime. It was not just the day of Christmas, but the whole season surrounding it. The spirit of being joyful, grateful, loving, and caring was something I thought should exist all year long.

The spirit of giving was the best of all. Everyone felt like a prince or princess waiting to receive their heart’s desire. It gave me joy to give someone a gift and see the expression on their face when they opened it, especially when it was a thoughtful gift or something they really needed or always wanted.

The season also came with beautiful and vibrant decorations. Some of my favorites were the candy canes and stockings. I remember the candy-filled, clear plastic candy canes with the solid red hook. It could be filled with any kind of candy, from gumballs to M&Ms and even Sweet Tarts and jellybeans. I also remember the red see-through netted stockings filled with both candy and small toys. I thought to myself, “Why would they make a stocking where I can see the goodies in it but then tell me I can’t open it until Christmas?” It was too tempting to not try and sneak some candy out of it ahead of time. Although I was anxious to open it, the wait built patience, and patience is a virtue.
More of my favorite memories include the selection of the real-life Christmas tree. My daddy insisted that we get a real tree and not an artificial one. “Nothing can replace the scent of fresh pine in the house,” he explained. The tree was even more special because it was decorated with not only store-bought decorations of lights, bulbs, and tinsel, but also ornaments I had made at school. The tree had to be as tall as the ceiling, with either a shining start or an angel on top.

My most memorable time at Christmas was when my family came together at my grandma and granddaddy’s house on Christmas Eve. I got to see all of my cousins, aunts, and uncles. Of course, there was lots of food. My favorites were the turkey, dressing, and peach cobbler. Everything was homemade, and I could tell it was made with love.

It’s my goal to carry the spirit of being joyful, grateful, loving, and caring into the present and the future. With or without the candy canes, stockings, or decorations, the memories of family and love are most important to me. The material things pass away. The candy is consumed. The stockings are thrown away. The light bulbs eventually burn out. The tinsel gets tangled, and the pine needles on the real tree dry out. Memories of family love will continue to live in our hearts.

Everyone here at Health Alliance wishes you and your family a joyous holiday season and a very merry Christmas. Share your memories with someone you love, especially those older princes or princesses in your family who have years and years of fond memories on their minds this time of year.

Sherry Gordon-Harris is a community liaison at Health Alliance. She is a wife and mother of two boys and enjoys traveling, collecting dolls, and hosting princess parties and princess pageants.
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December 05, 2018


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