Part of the wonder of Christmas comes with the sights, sounds and smells of the season. Christmas is also a time when people tend to remember past holidays spent with loved ones. Christmas allows us to relive the magical moments of our favorite Christmas memories: freshly fallen snow, baking homemade cookies with Grandma, driving through neighborhoods in search of the brightest Christmas lights, midnight Mass, and singing Christmas carols.
It always warms the heart to hear “O Come Let us Adore Him, Christ the Lord”, “Joy to the World, the Lord is Come” and “O Holy Night-When Christ Was Born.”
I don’t think there’s any question that Christmas — the word — means different things to different people. To many people, it’s a holiday when they don’t have to go to work or school. To many others, the Christmas season is trying to find the perfect gift for family and friends.
Christmas trees, lights, presents, jingle bells and candy canes all play their part within this festive season, while all but forgetting its true meaning.
Christmas will always be that time when the family gathers, the time when differences are put aside and the time when we commemorate Jesus’ birth.
With that baby came a message of love, hope and salvation for all people everywhere.
What is your favorite Christmas memory? Take a few moments and relive the magic.
• City Manager Ron Gorland: “I was raised here (born in a Miami Beach hospital as most of my local generation was), and all my childhood Christmas memories are from Miami Springs. It was my family tradition to go out in the car Christmas Eve and check out all the lights — and my favorite light shows were the homes on the Bass Lakes that lit up both the front and back of their homes. While we were light-seeing Santa came, so we knew when we got home he would have already been there. One year I got a Cub Scout flashlight and for months used it to read books under the covers when I was supposed to be asleep.
Another time my family got an American Flyer model train but we weren’t allowed to use it unless my father was there, but he often worked three jobs (he worked in the local Miami Springs post office), so we rarely got to play with the train. Another time I got a 26-inch bike (so I could grow into it), but I was far too young to get on and get off it, so I learned to launch it from a concrete block in the front yard and to get off it by stopping next to a telephone pole I could lean on.
“For sure Christmas in the ’50s was more about family, friends, fun and food than it was about getting things — we all got one main gift (toy) and then necessities like socks, etc. Truthfully, all my Christmases were great — I don’t ever remember having a bad one as a kid. Later, though, my worst Christmas ever was as a young officer candidate. I had to stand guard on the outside perimeter of an isolated empty building in the middle of nowhere in the woods in 4 hours on/4 hours off shifts through the Christmas holidays at Fort Knox. The nights were long, very dark, lonely and cold, but I had plenty of good childhood Christmas memories to get me through that Christmas.”