Season triggers Christmas remembrances

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The virtues and sentiments of the Christmas season are many, but it is also a time when deep memories are triggered.

Here are a few of the Christmas remembrances of my youth and boyhood homes in Groveport, first on Clark Court and in later on Main Street:

•The strings of bulbous, large colorful lights that used to be strung across Groveport’s Main Street from College Street to Front Street. The glowing lights were things of beauty in the winter darkness even though several of the lights were often burned out.

•As a pre-schooler, I wondered how Santa Claus would be able to get into our Clark Court home since it had no fireplace. Someone, either my older sister or mom, assured me Santa had a special key for such situations and merely came through the door.

•The festive red ribbon that my sister and I each year would wind around the old fashioned black light pole in the front yard of our Main Street home.

•The blue electric candles we used to put in all the windows of our house on Main Street. The blue was for Christmas, but, since our dad worked for Columbia Gas, the candles also represented the "blue flame" of natural gas.

•Getting our natural Christmas tree from Norm’s Market. I remember that grocer Norm Zitske would attach the largest tree in his inventory to the sign post in front of his store each year.

•Coming downstairs on December school day mornings and seeing the Christmas tree lights illuminating the darkened living room. Mom would turn the tree lights on to greet my brother, sister, and I as we emerged each morning for breakfast.

•My mom’s corn pancakes as well as her legendary Christmas cookies.

•The Christmas plays at Groveport Zion Lutheran Church at Main and Center streets where the boys portraying shepherds wore their plaid bathrobes as costumes.

•The old, broad window panes at Groveport Elementary where the older kids painted boldly red Christmas candles with golden flames on the glass that filled the window frames.

•The Christmas plays in the Groveport Elementary auditorium, usually an abbreviated version of "The Nutcracker." Whenever I hear music from "The Nutcracker" I feel transported back to the warm darkness of that splendid auditorium.

•Pouring through Montgomery Ward and J.C. Penney catalogs making Christmas lists.

•The locally produced Santa Claus television programs where toys from stores such as Cussins & Fearns were featured coming out of a "toy machine."

• "A Charlie Brown Christmas."

•My mom’s cylindrical candle jar which featured a small town Christmas scene on the outside. The doors and windows in the buildings of the scene could be opened to let the light of the candle glow through.

•The old sleigh bells from the farm where my mom grew up hanging on the front door.

•Playing with my brother in the huge snow piles in the parking lot at Great Southern Shopping Center while my mom did her Christmas shopping.

•Taking off my glasses and looking at the Christmas lights with my nearsighted eyes, which blurred the lights making them seem bigger and brighter.

•Comparing the Christmas gifts we received with what our neighbors the Wyatts got.

•Each and every happy Christmas Eve and Christmas morning.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Rick Palsgrove is editor of the Southeast Messenger.

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