Rob Oxford: Good Morning and Merry Christmas to all of our readers

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Text and photos by Rob Oxford

For me, Christmas will always mean first and foremost the birth of Christ. In my world it isn’t up for debate.

For as long as I can remember, each Christmas the first decoration to be displayed in our home was the manger scene purchased by my Mother several years before I was born. One of my most prized keepsakes and a bit tattered, my wife continues to honor that tradition by finding the box in which it is kept and putting it out before anything else.

I’m not a particularly religious person, however I do consider myself to be spiritual. I embrace the human spirit and try to see the good in all of man. I say both “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Holidays,” not to be politically correct, but to honor those who began celebrating Hanukkah on the 22nd, anyone celebrating Christmas today and those who will celebrate Kwanzaa tomorrow.

I understand that how we each celebrate this time of year differs greatly. Not everyone approaches the holiday season with the same level of joy and excitement as I. Some frown upon its commercialization, others choose not to celebrate at all. This too should be acceptable behavior.

This year for the very first time, I noticed the Christmas season coming and going much more quickly than in years past. Sandwiched between Thanksgiving and New Year’s as it has always been, the entire month of December has simply whisked by.

This is partially because I chose to work more hours this month, keeping me away from home more than I would have liked. The intent was not to provide more funds in order to go overboard with the gift-giving, but instead to avoid going into debt. We have a family trip planned for April and I’ve set my sights on adequately preparing for that time together.

As a result, this meant less time to put up decorations. In fact, some are still sitting in the front yard waiting to be placed. Yes, I do understand it is now a little too late.

In years past decorating the house meant a great deal. Although my wife still does a masterful job on the inside, the days of considering myself the Clark Griswold of 26th Ave NE. have all but disappeared entirely. As my children have gotten older and my body a little less limber, adorning the outside of the house with lights has taken a backseat to simply enjoying those decorations my other more able-bodied neighbors exhibit.

Traditions are important and we have many. Some have changed out of necessity; others remain the same. Early on the morning of Christmas Eve we will always go to the mall for cinnamon rolls from Cinnabon and so our “little boys” can have their pictures taken with Santa.

At some point during the day I’ll try to find my two favorite movies on the television, Frank Capra’s “It’s A Wonderful Life” and the 1951 version of “A Christmas Carol” starring Alastair Sim. Before bed we will always open one present and we will still leave cookies and milk for the jolly old elf. Then on Christmas Day I’ll again take too many photos and my sons will complain.

This year, when asked by my children what I “wanted for Christmas,” the answer was incredibly simple. I want more time together as a family. In years past I felt obligated to name some type of “thing.” Perhaps a rake to help with the gardening, a sweatshirt, a Harley Davidson (I always throw that one out there for the obligatory “yeah right!”). This year I realized I literally have everything I could possibly need. My family, my health, good friends and a great job. I sincerely hope you do as well.

I am so incredibly fortunate to have the privilege of writing for the Shoreline Area News. I would like to thank our editor Ms. Diane Hettick for the opportunity and Mr. Frank Workman for opening the door. It continues to be an enjoyable experience.

May you all enjoy the day in whatever manner you choose and may the upcoming new year be your best.


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