Remembering Christmas past

Published 7:27 pm Thursday, December 20, 2018

There are just some Christmases that you will never forget and ironically they may seem like the least spectacular.

Therefore after a good deal of urging from my oldest child, I decided I would once again share one of those times that I had previously written about in another publication years ago.

Christmas had always been my favorite holiday, which I owe to my childhood experiences.

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There were always trips to grandma’s house, delicious food and of course piles of presents under the Christmas tree.

So in an effort to make sure my little family could have Christmases worth reminiscing about, I attempted to make things spectacular, and early on, the thought was to do it all myself, like Martha Stewart. That woman is amazing!

Therefore, like visions of sugar plums dancing in my head, I could see myself trimming every corner of the house with ribbons, garland and twinkling lights as I perused the sparkling holiday decorations on the slick magazine pages.

In an effort to replicate these holiday trimmings, I struck out on missions to make the most wonderful adornments and embellishments angels could behold.

My first attempt was the year I single-handedly cut cedar from all around town. I constructed wreaths and garland for every door and window of my house with needle nose pliers and floral wire. With drops of blood from my mutilated hands, I personalized the blue moiré ribbon I used for bows.

I knew Santa’s elves would be proud.

This little obsession of the do-it-yourself Martha mentality lingered for years.

There was another Christmas when I decided to wrap all the presents under the tree with coordinating paper and ribbon. It looked fabulous on those magazine pages. And certainly the store clerks appreciated my notion; they didn’t have to wrap gifts for me.

On Christmas Eve, however, I was rethinking how lovely it looked because I was still wrapping!

Then there was the year I cooked miniature cakes, wrapped them in colorful Saran wrap and delivered sweets to friends. And I will never forget that year I decided to make handmade cross-stitch gifts. I was up so late trying to finish; I think I heard the prancing and pawing of each little hoof on the roof.

As time passed, my do-it-yourself image began to wane and new faces started showing up in my décor like Christopher Radko, Fontanine and Department 56.

I began collecting beautiful store-bought decorations instead of creating my own, and I began spending more of my time shopping for presents and standing in gift-wrap lines. It seemed my DIY days were over.

But then the unplanned happened: I found myself living in an apartment with all my decorations in storage. Christmas was near and to make things even direr, my 9-month-old son was hospitalized with pneumonia.

What was I to do?

Fortunately, my Martha ghost of Christmas past returned and while my son slept, my two young daughters and I sat in the hospital hallway making ornaments out of poster board using cookie cutters and glitter. These would be the only ornaments that year for our tree that engulfed the small living space.

I was feeling blue that this was the best I could do for decorations, but ironically, it turns out, this is the Christmas my daughters reminisce most about.

So when they say, “Mama, do you remember when,” like the Grinch, my heart grows and grows and grows because each year, I too, remember that Christmas, the one where love was the best decoration of all.

Terri Cowart Frazier is a staff writer at The Vicksburg Post. Readers are invited to submit their opinions for publication.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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