This is a very different Christmas. Reverend Frederick Warnock and Jon Ossoff are still running in Georgia, and we as black folks understand that the contest ain’t over till it’s over, and this one ain’t over till January 5, 2021. Today I got my covid test results. It’s negative, thank God.
My family usually celebrates Christmas when we all gather together for a meal, a scripture reading by one of the grandchildren, an activity where the grandchildren make a gingerbread house, and share talents and gifts, open presents. My wife, Ruthie, asks everybody to come on Christmas Eve. This has been our tradition ever since our sons got married and the grandchildren started to come. She wanted at least one day out of a year for our sons and their children and their moms to come and spend time together and not interfere with their in-law’s plans.
A sharing of family history for the young people is part of our celebration. This year would have included sharing memories since the passing of my beloved sister, Edith. Edith and I have shared much of our lives together including being born in Altus, Oklahoma and traveling to California where we both went to the same school and O Street Church of God in Christ. I even married my wife there at O Street COGIC. Edith and I grew up in Bakersfield.
One Christmas, I remember finding Christmas gifts under my parents’ bed, and I can still hear my mother say, “That’s the end of your Santa Claus”. Christmas with my family in Bakersfield meant church, gifts and food. Also, there was a Christmas church program where we gave speeches. Sometimes it was only two words, but it was a learning event for the children. We learned that Jesus is the reason for the season.
An annual promise was made by my Dad telling us that he would have more money next year and next Christmas would be better. I never thought it could get any better. Everybody was there along with daddy, mama, my siblings, gifts and good food. I guess if daddy was here, he would be right in saying, “Christmas will be better next year, no thanks to covid.”
In spite of this being what we call a bad year, it’s not bad for the kids. To most of them, it’s Christmas and they are looking for Santa Claus to show up and show out. So parents get to hustling and make this a good year for the Kids. Consider adding something more than just presents. Besides good food, share family memories, old photos, tell them what the real meaning of Christmas is and that it’s not just a time for them to get presents but they can learn to be compassionate and share something with a child who doesn’t have as much as they have. They can go with you as you donate food to a food distribution center or give a toy to Toys for Tots. By this, you will be showing them the real meaning of Christmas!
Plan to have a safe and healthy Christmas and New Year. Please wear your mask and stay socially distant to protect yourself and your extended family members. Be thankful and look forward to having them with you to celebrate next year.