Joan Dorsey
Contributing columnist
The turkey has been served. The stuffing – made the same way my Mom and Grandma made theirs – with raisins, has been prepared and eaten.
Fall-themed items placed back into their tubs for storage.
Now on to the jewel of the winter season.
Not happy holidays, but Merry Christmas!
I have been listening to Christmas music on two of my favorite radio stations for over a week now. One station has the more somber music, and the other has the light hearted songs like “I want a hippopotamus for Christmas” and Eartha Kitt’s sultry “Santa Baby.” They get equal play in my car and in my house.
Christmas in Gardner during the 60’s was small town all the way. The big green Quonset hut building on Elm Street was our city auditorium, and we always had a Christmas party with Santa and games and candy. The candy, of course, was those that had candy ribbons and chocolate cream mounds and oranges and apples and nuts.
Mr. Johnson owned the feed store, and we would buy our tree there. The feed store building is still on Elm Street. It houses an insurance company. We would make our way to the feed store, then wind our way to the back storage area where the trees were kept.
I remember a pot bellied stove and the smell of cedar and pine. The tree was never big enough to suit me but fit in our trunk and looked wonderful with our decorations.
I also remember the decorations on Main Street. Seems like there were giant candles with red garland type coverings hung on the street lamps. At 9 or 10 in the evening you could walk out to the edge of Main and look downtown to the East. It was a beautiful sight after the snow had fallen. Not a car in sight.
Everything quiet and peaceful.
One of the traditions in my family was getting to go to the movies on Christmas Day afternoon. When my brother and sister were older they would take me, and I was in heaven. I remember seeing “Born Free” when it came out back in the day. I guess the actual tradition probably was getting me out of the house for a few hours so my Mom and Dad could recover enough to put up with me me until school was back in session. I didn’t realize this until my own children were school aged.
Christmas in Edgerton hasn’t changed much in the past 40 years. The mayor’s Christmas tree is lit. The Edgerton Elementary choir and the crowd of people sing holiday songs. Everyone retires to city hall to see Santa and get refreshments and make gift requests. It is the same, yet very comforting.
Traditions carry on and become our fondest memories. Rita Moore, former city clerk, was the keeper of the Christmas tree and the Nativity Set for Edgerton for many years.
Nothing, to me, makes a Christmas more fun than children. Whether they are yours or someone else’s, they put the glow in the air.
Every year we would watch “Rudolph” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “Charlie Brown.”
My own little “Who’s” were experts in the shake, feel and name that present game. My son could pick out the box, no matter how well I disguised what it contained every year, socks and underwear. Never failed. He would lift the box, shake and proclaim, “There they are!”
For years I purchased a beautiful doll for my daughter, every year. A doll dressed in holiday colors with white furry trim and a hat.
I enjoyed buying those dolls. I never had beautiful dolls in stands. However my daughter didn’t share my enthusiasm. She was probably 8 or 9 when she informed me she had plenty of creepy dolls on the shelf in her closet. I was to let Santa know she was done with those dolls.
So I switched to Teddy Bears.
For me Christmas is remembering the past, but looking ahead to the future. I am sure some of my small town memories are different than other folks who also grew up here. We all see things differently and remember them different, too.
So turn up that music and let’s have us a very Merry Christmas!!!