Remembering Christmas past and fond traditions

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By Betty Moore, Columnist

The Buckhead Baptist Church had a Cantata on December 15. On Christmas Eve there will be communion. Miles and Martha Pike will be in concert Saturday, Dec. 28 at 6 a.m. at the Lake Oconee Baptist Chapel. They will be in the 11 a.m. service on December 29. You are invited. A covered dish lunch will follow the Sunday worship service. On December 15 there was a dedication of the Christmas gifts for the Oconee House at Lake Oconee Baptist Chapel.

There will be a Christmas musical on Sunday morning, Dec. 22 at 11 a.m. It will be performed by the choir under the direction of Chip Slaughter. The Lottie Moon Christmas offering goes to missions. This is a very important offering that goes directly to mission work and is not taken out for other causes.

May I wish each of you joy and happiness as you prepare for Christmas. Even though some may receive little in gifts it can still be a time for joy. Receive what is given. Try to have joy anyway. Because Jesus Christ was born in a manger, He came that man might have salvation if they accept it. That’s why we celebrate because of the birth of Jesus. There’s no other way to salvation except through Jesus Christ. If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your Lord what a wonderful time to do so in celebrating His birth at Christmas!

Christie White went to San Francisco to a workshop. A lady told me that their musical at Beacon Heights was wonderful. When Christmas time came it was always a special time for us when our two girls were growing up. We would trek through the woods looking for the right Christmas tree. On our many times in the woods we would notice trees. We liked to walk in the woods very much so looking for a tree was no big deal. When we found the tree that we wanted my husband would chop it down. He dragged it home.

There was an air of excitement with the girls knowing that the tree would soon begin to be decorated. We got the decorations from the year before. Some looked “sick”, so it was time to have them retired. As they were pulled from the box or bag they were placed on the tree. There were a few new ones added each year. Christmas music played as the decorations were placed on the tree. It was so much fun to see it all come together. I think the excitement was in mama as well as the two children.

The beautiful music played its part in getting us ready for the time. We knew that we were going to celebrate the Savior’s birth. There would be some music played that was just like, “Here comes Santa Claus,” and others that were not the hymns of Christmas. Some were played that were fast-paced. It caused mama to get her feet moving in the same tempo.

The girls laughed. It was a jolly time. Sometimes we were almost late in getting all the gifts wrapped. But it was a beautiful sight seeing the tree lights flashing with the gifts piled high. When Christmas morning was finally here the girls could not get up until the father was also up. Either the mama gave out gifts or the oldest girl. One person would get a gift.

Everyone watched to see what there was in the box. The next gift was given to another person. We followed the same routine for all. Once all the gifts were given the paper or boxes were gathered for trash. Then each one looked at what was given to them. That morning was a special time. The family gathered around the table as mama made up her own recipe for waffles. Each ate to their fill. If children were young enough for toys they played with them.

Mama began the day roasting a turkey and boiling pieces of chicken to get extra broth for dressing. Vegetables started to cook. Ambrosia was being prepared as daddy pealed the oranges to go with cake. Pecan pies were refrigerated. They were cooked before. Once lunch was over and each was full the children began to play with toys. Days end brought the closing of a wonderful day that the Lord had made. I’m sure that we knew that because of God, our provision was of Him. Hearts should be happy in Him for what He did for us.

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