I’m dragging my feet about taking down my Christmas tree and decorations. I just don’t want it to be over! So much time, work, sweat and thinking goes into it, I want it to last at least a little bit longer!
The Christmas holiday is definitely a time when everyone is at their limit with hustle and bustle. And, usually no matter how much we talk about it, we don’t slow down. If we have one minute that is uncommitted, we jam something else into it. With the shopping, recitals and parties, there’s rarely a moment for peace. My kids are grown but I found myself rushing by the manger, too.
It’s the middle of January, but my Christmas tree is still up and baby Jesus is still in the manger on my porch. My wall pictures are still wrapped as presents and the Christmas curtains still hang in the windows. The hustle and bustle are over and the restful part is here. I sit in the dark on the couch with the tree lights on. The big old-fashioned bulbs glow against the ornaments. I can’t help smiling, even though it’s the middle of January. It feels a little magical-still and I just don’t want it to be over.
It all reminds of the Cinderella Theater in the 1970’s. “How on earth?” you say.
One of the highlights of my young life was when my sister and I caught a ride on the bus to Williamson to spend a carefree Saturday. (We didn’t do it often, but it was the best times ever!) The fare seemed like it wasn’t much-maybe a quarter. Mr. Bevins, the driver, had one of those coin things on his belt that made the cool change sound when he pushed it.
We boarded the bus with lots of people already in their seats. (I can remember Whistle Mullins as clear as if it were yesterday…and Mrs. Deerfield!) They all spoke as we took our seats. The road wound all along Pond Creek, through Belfry and Toler, by Clay’s Market and Dotson’s at the mouth of Road Fork. The curves didn’t bother us; we were used to it! We held on, excited for the adventure that was waiting.
My sister and I, and sometimes a few friends, walked around town as if we hadn’t a care in the world. One of the first places we stopped was the TV Centre and Record Shop to look at the 45’s. (I thought it smelled weird in there. I didn’t know what incense was!)
For lunch, we always went to Strosnider’s Drug for their awesome egg salad sandwiches. (Their chili was super good, too.) We sat at the little tables and drank Coke from the silver holders with the little paper cone cups. Remember those?
The most important thing we did on those treasured Saturdays was go to the movies!!! The Cinderella Theater welcomed us each time promising an exciting escape from our sometimes difficult lives. I can remember seeing so many movies at the Cinderella Theater, but my favorites were the ones I saw with my sister on those carefree days. I hated when they were over, wanting the magic to last longer and longer. The credits always made me sad.
There was a rumor back then that the kids who lived in South Williamson stayed and watched the movie twice. See the movie twice?! It was crazy! I l-o-n-g-e-d to stay and see a movie the second time! It was my dream! When I got up to leave, because we had to catch the bus home, kids were always still sitting in their seats. Not fair! I thought. I wished I lived in South Williamson!
So much time has passed since 1974, but that’s exactly how I’m feeling now about Christmas. The Christmas music stopped immediately and I can’t find a Christmas movie even on the Hallmark channel! It was fun and wonderful…and I just don’t want the magic to end. I want it to last just a little bit longer!
(I wonder how long the kids in South Williamson left up their decorations!)
Dawn Reed is a columnist for The Floyd County Times.