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Stockings hung, homes decorated, but where is Christmas?

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By Cherimie Crane Weatherford

Hurriedly we say our seasonal pleasantries, sashaying from task to time-trimming task only half heartily observing the moment as anything other than obligatory obedience to a tradition notably less magical than years past. Stockings neatly hung, trees gently sparkle and socially expected calendars burst at the seams as we celebrate the art of celebration. Where is Christmas?

Mixed in the muddle of Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas is an occasional admittance, a nod of notoriety at the absence of that certain something. Perhaps it is the weather, we lay blame on Mother Nature’s warm wishes or possibly our work is the culprit for draining our desire to deck the halls. It just doesn’t feel like Christmas. Where is Christmas?

Decorated homes, storefronts covered in red and green along with colorful cards declare the magic of the season. We rush from gift to gift claiming victory when our list is finally complete. Exhausted we continue to build impossible expectations of things unable to give feelings that can’t be wrapped. We search for joy, we listen for love and we wait impatiently. Where is Christmas?

As a child, solace was easily found in the velvet blanket of rye grass underneath a limitless sky. The strength of Mammaw’s hugs would send an energy that no amount of caffeine can conjure. Uninterrupted time with Mommy and Daddy surpassed any designer doll or desired device. The encouraged belief that dreams come true, love lasts and hope conquers all was the gift that needed no bow. It was there I first found Christmas.

Christmas is a reminder of a time of wonder, a time when the entire world really is bright. It is the soft whisper that everything is going to be alright. It is a return to peace, a revisit to values and a treaty with turmoil even if only for one day. Christmas is tranquil, rhythmic like a lullaby, as it illuminates the darkness with twinkles of kindness and hope. Christmas is found in a new Mother’s rest or a sick child’s comfort. It is seen in the generosity of those who give without expectation. Christmas is a husband holding the hand of his wife, a friend carrying the burden of another and a stranger lifting a silent prayer. It is within the quiet corners of celebration that Christmas shines most brightly. Amidst the chaos of obligation, it is the moments of love, minutes of memories and the mere seconds where the whole world stops to take a deep breath.

Christmas can’t be bought and it can’t be sold. It can only be given, shared and experienced in the quiet corners of the hearts of friends, family and those willing to believe that goodness, faith and joy aren’t an event, but a necessity. Merry Christmas Beautiful Beaufort from my family to yours, we hope you find Christmas.

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