Santa vacations in Bostwick
When this picture of yours truly ran in The Madisonian in the Dec. 17, 1992 edition, it was part of a segment entitled, “Morgan County Speaks Out: What do you know about Santa Claus?”
At the tender age of 5, I was able to quickly formulate a quip that has kept me laughing ever since, as I responded:
“He goes on vacation to Bostwick, Ga. The elves live with him. They come from Jesus.”
I really became aware of this publication, which, with all likelihood, was my first, when I stumbled across some newspaper clippings that Grandma (Sybil, for those of you who don’t know) had stored in the back of a photo album, and immediately affixed my early opinion back into my mind, whence it once sprang.
Not surprisingly, when I was asked to write a column for the Christmas edition, I immediately began searching through our archives to find the origin of what I had only known as an undated clipping.
As it turns out, it was published almost 20 years to the day before this column will run.
That fact got me thinking about some of the Christmases that I’ve had since then, and how the way Christmas is celebrated changes as you get older.
Certainly, this is no unique realization; opposite my quotation, Patrick Yost (who likely took the photo above and is now my boss) wrote a column examining his 30 previous Christmases and asking readers to “Remember the Wonder” that Christmas brought us as children.
But I’m not looking back as much as I am looking forward. There have been good Christmases since then and bad Christmases since then.
Last year I was able to spend Christmas in Germany with my best friend from high school, Hamilton Richards, after a couple of lonely months in the country. We ate a poor excuse for baked chicken and watched movies, but, nevertheless, that Christmas meant more to me than a lot have in recent years.
And, this year, I’ll probably get a good understanding of what it is to have a truly blue Christmas, since my girlfriend, Alayna Fisher, will be going home to Oregon to celebrate with her family.
Who knows how each Christmas is going to end up affecting us? And what is to say that the Christmases in the coming years won’t be more meaningful than those that I experienced as a child?
Perhaps with a family of my own sometime in the next several years, Christmas will take on a better, truly selfless meaning, expecting nothing of the day except maybe a memory.
Printed in the December 20, 2012 edition