I was sitting here at my desk today thinking about past Christmases and was overwhelmed with a mighty dose of nostalgia. I sat here sad because it just does not feel like Christmas is like it used to be. I laughed at myself because of course it isn't. I am nearly sixty years old. I have done the whole Christmas gauntlet from childhood, to parenthood, to grandparent hood. As I sat at my desk I thought to one special Christmas year. It was the year of no gifts. We came to Christmas and somehow my presents all were left in Florida. My mom explained the situation, told me Santa was leaving my gifts at our house because she forgot to send him our forwarding address, and I should have put on my big girl panties and dealt with it....but that is easier said than done when you are twelve. Yeah, I knew who Santa was....but I was not going to have the first present to open and it made me sad. My parents spent the night with my Aunt Mae Belle and I did not want to. So, I spent the night at my cousin Gary's house and was really having a blue Christmas. Gary's wife, Sheila, tried her best to make it a good evening. We made cookies and decorated them and we decorated a stocking for me to hang with theirs. I figured I would get the traditional candy canes, nuts, an apple, and an orange. We went to bed late and that was ok since I knew Santa was not stopping by. Christmas morning I woke to the smell of breakfast and went to join the rest of the family. When I passed through the living room on my way to the kitchen I was shocked to see a multitude of presents with my name on them. I wondered if my mom was playing mind games on me about the presents left in South Florida. We ate breakfast and gathered in their living room to open gifts. The first present Gary put in my hands and the card read...."To Karen From Santa." I opened the box and there was a make-up case, filled with lip glosses and eye shadows. I was thrilled. Everyone opened one gift and then we went around again. This time I got some cute crocheted slippers. Before the morning was up I had head bands, perfume, a charm bracelet, a necklace, powder, lotion...it was an awesome array of girly products and I was in seventh heaven. Later in the morning we packed up all my gifts, got our food together and joined the rest of the family for lunch at my Aunt Virginias. Sheila and Gary divorced shortly after that Christmas and I did not see her much after that. I will always remember how special she was and that bleak looking Christmas that she made wonderful. Sheila will always hold a dear place in my heart and wherever she is today I hope she knows somewhere in the world someone thinks she rocks!
I am a woman who wears many hats and loves them all. I am a singer - I sing with the group Still Magnolias. I was part of the original First United Methodist Church Arbor Praise Team until we moved. After 24+ years of teaching English 11 and Spanish I - II at Benjamin Russell High School I decided to take a job closer to home. I now teach Spanish I & 2 at Randolph Co. High School and Wadley. I thought I was getting close to retirement and looking forward to it, but decided to move my cheese and try something different. I am a preacher's wife and a preacher myself. My husband Frank is the pastor at Rock Mills United Methodist Church and I am the pastor at Midway (Wedowee). It has made our conversations interesting, to say the least.