By Kevin Wilkerson, PubClub.com Nightlife Blogger
One of my earliest memories of Christmas is of being in the living room in Cumberland Estates, a subdivision in Knoxville, TN, and receiving the gift that I really, really wanted that year – a sled.
We even had a white Christmas that year and I wanted to charge out the door, find a hill and put it to immediate use.
Except I couldn’t – I had the measles!
Everyone, it seemed, got sleds that year and I had to watch out the big living room window as the entire neighborhood spilled out into yards and rode sleds in the snow.
Over time, tho, I did get a lot of use out of that sled, which remains one of my favorite Christmas gifts. One occasion was when several neighborhood families went to Gatlinburg where we spend a fun day sledding down a hill. I still laugh thinking of when one of our best neighborhood friends, Connie Paris, lost control and wiped out an entire family!
Another vivid Christmas memory from my early days is of Santa. In our house, Santa loved cookies and Coca Cola. And chocolate-covered cherries. Mom always made sure that my sister and I put out cookies, a bottle of Coca Cola and a box of chocolate-covered cherries before we went to bed.
Eventually, we moved the Christmas tree and celebration downstairs and celebrated the day in the basement, which dad had cleverly converted into a game room of sorts. Mom told me to get one gift in particular which was the back of the tree.
The box was so heavy and I could hardly get it to budge. I remember remarking that I though it was stapled to the floor! It turned out to be a box containing weights – a gift I had asked for as my prime gift that year. I used those weights for years, too. It was another great gift from mom and dad!
When you are young, Christmas is all about the gifts. After everything was opened and assembled in a makeshift manner because you were too impatient to read the instructions, you would get together with your friends and brag about what you got that year.
Over time, however, Christmas becomes more about something bigger than gifts –the family. Especially when we are not together everyday like we are in our youth.
These days, the best Christmas gift of all is spending time with the family.
It’s even better than a sled.