Pam Dudding Contributing writer
All is calm, all is bright. The packages have been all quickly unwrapped, and everything seems just, so right!
For many, this is a time of year that brings plenty of belly laughs, hugs beyond expressions and smiles so deep that they leave a memorable imprint on one’s heart.
Nearly everyone finds it easy to say, “Merry Christmas” and life just seems to be a little brighter.
The “funnest” part, (as some kids say), is waking up on Christmas morning to find their wish list under the tree. “It’s here,” children often exclaim while wrapping paper fills the air as parents and family members video the elation of the special moments.
Regardless, it seems to be the love of the season that makes Christmas what it truly is: a day of love to share with others.
Some kids unwrap one gift at a time while others can’t finish one until their eyes are set on the next one. “My child is one of those,” said one local before adding, “she will run around to everyone else’s laps as well, willingly ready to shred their paper for them too.”
There are many adults that seem to enjoy the unwrapping as much, if not more than the kids. “My husband will tear a package open in less than a second,” one wife shared with a giggle.
Some families have come upon hard times, and that is when the ‘small town’ comes together.
The Craig County Department of Social Services, along with Food Country, diligently work to make sure that kids in unfortunate situations still have a visit from Santa. Craig County still seems to hold true to the saying, “There’s no place like home…in a small-town community.”
Facebook posts tend to flood phones with messages like: “Merry Christmas to all! I hope everyone’s holiday is filled with joy and happiness. Find the positive in all and take a minute to reflect on how truly blessed we all are. Happy Birthday, Jesus!”
Some bake and cook lots of foods and drop them off at The Commons for the elderly to enjoy or to others they know need a little cheer.
One cannot help but get their heart warmed by hearing about someone else making a child’s Christmas a little brighter.
Some more tech-savvy families are able to take a picture of their living room and through today’s technology, download a picture of Santa standing there in the middle of it, waving! Oh, how that excited the kids are to see Santa in their home.
And this year, Santa put his mailboxes in local Craig County stores for the kids that didn’t get to sit on Santa’s lap or had forgotten to send their letters. Santa responded with a personal letter and included a signed picture of himself, along with a bag of candy.
One gentleman said, “My mom has always told me that Christmas isn’t about how many gifts you receive, but about creating memories with friends and loved ones that you can cherish for a lifetime.”
Inside many homes, the traditional Christmas trees gleefully light up the living rooms with twinkle lights, decorations and angels and stars atop them. Some explained that their trees had nothing on the bottom, due to their cats, dogs and little children grabbing them off.
Outside, decorations glow on fences, in trees and in yards to celebrate the season.
Carrying on the tradition of gifts, eating meals together and creating an atmosphere of joy and cheer is one that raises the bar of a happy life in a home.
At many homes, feasts are served, and only elbow room available. Footstools, piano benches and any kind of apparatus one could sit on is brought up to the table or even an extra knee, so everyone can sit together.
Several family members add their annual ‘CHRIST-mas Eve Service’ to their agenda, celebrating the real meaning behind Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ. “You can’t leave out Baby Jesus,” one child told her parents.
Christmas. A time of year where people seem to be a little nicer and most look at the glass as half-full instead of half-empty, even when it’s not.
Christmas in Craig, a time where citizens continue to look out for their neighbors while also enjoying the meaningful season with their loving families.