Jingle Bells!

Campus Woods was resplendent with Christmas Ornaments this afternoon! It had been a few days since I had walked there and I was amazed at how the adornment of the trees had multiplied! The temperature today is in the lower 50’s and many Christmas walking revelers were taking advantage of the late fall warm-up.

I remember memorizing Clement Clark Moore’s famous Christmas poem, ‘A Visit From St. Nicholas,’ and how my mom loved to hear me recite it. She was so fond of my recitation that she gathered all of my aunts and uncles and cousins together to be the audience for my performance! I could recite it with ease and still can do so for much of the narrative.

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse; The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there; the children were nestled all snug in their beds; While visions of sugar plums danced in their heads; And mama in her kerchief and I in my cap, Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap, When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a flash, Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash. The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow, Gave a luster of midday to objects below, When what to my wondering eyes did appear, But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer, With a little old driver so lively and quick, I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick….’

Or…the many years that our family made the trek to St. Louis, Missouri to the headquarters of the Famous Barr Department store chain…to watch the Christmas Bears on the 7th floor. Now the Christmas Bears were animatronic and not only did Aaron and Jonathon thoroughly enjoy observing their Christmas antics, which included trimming Christmas Trees and wrapping Christmas presents, but MJ and I…and often Grandma Fernie reveled in the miracle of Holiday dreams! The annual sojourn to see the Christmas Bears was a major component of our holiday revelries!

There was the year that I made the executive decision to travel to Famous and Barr at the St. Clair Square Mall to acquire Christmas gifts unimpeded by anyone but my own desires to fulfill the ‘Visions of Candy Canes dancing…’ in the heads of MJ and Aaron and Jonathon! I had such fun! My Christmas dreams had no price tag! From a $125 key chain by Dooney and Bourke…to stuffed Christmas Bears and Game Boys for the Boys…I was in Nirvana… The event marked my only time of such solitary freedom in fulfilling my Christmas gift wish for my precious 3…or as Grandma Fernie said of me…’Jay sure loves Christmas!’

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