Our View: Happy holidays from The Union Editorial Board | TheUnion.com

Our View: Happy holidays from The Union Editorial Board

It’s easy to sink into good memories this time of year.

Cuddled up near loved ones under a thick blanket, a fire crackling near the tree, a peacefulness wafts through the room. The speed of regular life rarely slows down nowadays. It’s best to take advantage of the holiday season, visit with friends and family and remember why we pause this time each year.

For many it’s religious reasons. Others take joy in a few days off work while having their own traditions.

Regardless of the reason, most everyone likes a cup of cocoa, or maybe eggnog, while staring at the tinsel glittering in the light.

A model train once sped around the Christmas tree, though that was in childhood. Usually impossible to wake, children would sneak downstairs as the sun rose, spying a mountain of presents under the tree.

In another home mom was blunt: this year was going to be tough. But somehow three new Huffy bicycles appeared Christmas morning — a tangible sign for a child that things would be all right.

Living in a trailer park, one kid got a used bicycle as a gift. It didn’t matter. Family was important, and no amount of cash spent on any gift could beat that.

It’s like the clothes mother spent unknown hours sewing for her girls. She intended them as a Christmas morning surprise, but hid them behind a door, easy for anyone to find.

It was the time she spent on the dresses, not the clothes themselves, that proved the best gift.

It’s odd the memories that cling to life long after the others pass away. Like the Christmas when Toni Doll mania swept through the town. The best friend down the street would get one, but father said he couldn’t afford one for his daughter.

It was a ruse, of course. Christmas morning came and along with it the doll. The daughter ran to her friend’s home, expectant, thrilled. But the friend didn’t get a doll, and this memory lingers.

The good links hands with the bad. Not all holidays come unblemished, but most years there’s something to cherish hidden beneath ringing bells and hot chocolate.

Many holidays are spent with both parents. Not everyone is that fortunate. For one child in the latter category, Christmas Day is the rare moment that brings the family together once again. Even as an adult the tradition continues.

Traditions change shape over the years. Overseas, in the military, men didn’t want to show weakness. If they said “Merry Christmas,” it was serious, foreboding. During the war in Vietnam no one mentioned Christmas. No one hung decorations. They drank beer and kept marching.

It was different for a family stationed in Germany. They visited a local family and helped them light candles, real candles, sitting on their tree.

But most years, like this one, the holidays are spent at home curled up by the fire, watching the flames sink low.

One man is reminded of Christmas 2001. The pall of 9/11 hung over the country as the season arrived.

It could have gone wrong. The holiday might have turned sour.

Instead the man spent one day just before Christmas visiting a handful of parties in Nevada County. Friends and fellowship appeared at each one, building a sense of belonging and family with every stop.

Then, on the ride home, it began to snow.

And the man thought, “I’m the luckiest person in the world.

“What a wonderful place to live.”

The weekly Our View editorial represents the consensus opinion of The Union Editorial Board, a group of editors and writers from The Union, as well as informed community members. Contact the board at EditBoard@TheUnion.com.

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