Written by MJ Reporter Willow LaMunyon
Photo by MJ Photographer Christy Moyer
Last Wednesday, my article had a picture of a Christmas tree but what it didn’t have was the story behind that. Christy Moyer, our staff photographer, took the photo several years ago and here is what she had to say about it.
“This is a picture of the tree we had in my mom’s house a couple of years back. The skirt was handmade by my grandmother, and my oldest child placed the angel on the tree because my mother was no longer able to. It was one of the humbler yet best holidays we can remember. None of us could afford anything major, but we ate an amazing dinner, did things for each other, and had stockings of snacks and knick-knacks.
There is a photo quilt in the background of the picture that Christy’s mother made.
Her remarks reminded me that Christmas is truly a time for families and friends to be together and show the love that is always there but often not spoken. It is also a time for reaching out with care for everyone in our community. If your family gatherings are small or big events, the spirit of peace on earth shines for everyone.
My sister, Shelley, and I love to ask anyone who we discover will be spending Christmas Eve alone to join us. Yup, my family celebrates on the eve of Christmas, and we go all out to make it festive and memorable. Covered dish dinner makes the meal varied and delicious as well as affordable. Thanks to homemade and discount stores, everyone gets several gifts to unwrap.
As with ‘Christy’s family, we leave any disagreements we may have for another time or even better never as we are reminded that there are things in life more important than differences of opinion.
As people moved here and there and more and more children grew up to start their own celebrations, ours became smaller. Our Texas family is there via phone, our Enid family scatters into smaller and more manageable groups, but the Okmulgee bunch shows up right here with me. Even Shelley and I no longer celebrate in the same house, but we are still together in our hearts.
Traditions change with time. When my kids were small, they put on original skits. One memorable skit was a clever and hilarious hint to their grandmother that our middle son was Don and never Donny.
Later, granddaughters took over with impromptu songs and making place markers for everyone. The time came when there was always a package wrapped in brown paper intended to gently embarrass the one who received it. This year I have an idea for a new tradition. It may work as something to be continued or not, but I can’t wait to surprise everyone with it.
We have memories to treasure, but every bit as good are the new and changing ways we celebrate, all built on the firm foundation started by Alma Smith, our grandmother.