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This being the Christmas season, I began to reflect on my childhood Christmas; what came to mind was my mother would start her baking at least one week before Christmas. There would be cakes of all kinds; chocolate, pineapple, jelly, and Carmel cakes. The pies were sweet potato, lemon meringue, and sometimes coconut pie.

Mother always had to make two extra sweet potato pies for daddy to eat before Christmas, and he would tell me, "come eat some pie with me." I would tell him, I will eat the crust, and you can eat the pie. He once told me, "you must not be my child." My response was, "I don't know about that, but I don't want the pie."

I remember very vividly daddy going into the woods to get the tree because we lived on the farm in the country. Sometimes he would take me with him, and at other times he didn't, but he would always come back with a beautiful tree for Christmas. Sometimes he would help my mother decorate the tree. When the decorating was complete, it would be the most beautiful tree there was, to me. I would get great joy out of just watching the light flickering and the different colored blubs adding to the tree's beauty. The garland gave the tree an extra added glow with an angel atop the tree.

I remember daddy bringing in the fruits, some of which made stocking stuffers that consisted of oranges, apples, tangerines, nuts (walnuts, pecans, brazil nuts) peppermint candy. The stockings would sometimes be underneath the tree and at other times hanging across the fireplace.

I remember writing a letter to Santa Claus and my mother telling me to put the letter in daddy's pocket so when he went to downtown Montgomery, he would mail it to Santa. Not knowing at that time, daddy played the part of Santa. For the most part, whatever was on my list, I received at Christmas.

On Christmas Eve, I can remember my mother telling me, "you better go to bed early because Santa Claus would be here soon."

Most of the traditions that I was raised with have been passed on to my children, except maybe the different homemade cakes and the other pies. Still, the one tradition that is carried on today is having a fruitcake for Christmas, the beautifully decorated Christmas tree, the large Christmas dinner of turkey and dressing, ham, greens, or some other green vegetables starchy sides.

Christmas was and still is a joyous time of the year; Christmas carols being sung, decorations all aglow, and gifts being exchanged.

There is joy in celebrating Christmas; we are celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

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