Friday, November 13, 2009

I Want To Feel Christmas Like A Child

My Christmas as a child...

When we were little, my parents took us to Texas every year to celebrate Christmas. My Mom's family lived in Texas and we would spend two weeks with my grandparents on a ranch in Brackettville, Texas. This ranch was the "headquarters" for the entire Jones Family. There were six houses on the ranch, five of which were occupied. Four sisters and one brother all lived on this ranch with their families. My mom never lived on the ranch but her parents moved there after she grew up. This was my grandmother, Oma's, home place. Every year my parents would pack our massive Econoline van with four kids, six (or more like sixteen!) suitcases, billions of Christmas presents and of course mom's fried chicken that we ate on our two-day drive to heaven! Instead of going to the beach or snow skiing, we went to Texas and to us, there was no other place we wanted to be!

I never thought about it when I was little but now that I am older I realize that my Dad was so generous to my Mom for letting us go to Texas every year for Christmas. He never complained or fussed about not being able to spend the holidays at our home in Georgia with our Georgia family. He told me one time that he figured that we got to spend every day and every other holiday with his family in Georgia, so it was only fair that we have Christmas with our Texas family.

Every year my Great Aunt Bonnie would gather the whole ranch at her home for the big family Christmas party. It was at one of these parties where I first remember actually meeting Suzanne Steece, who most of my readers know from her quad blog. We would gather in her living room and sing Christmas carols as my Aunt Bonnie played the piano... she had the most beautiful voice. We would also celebrate Suzanne's grandmother's birthday. All other evenings at the ranch were spent in someones living room, usually my grandmother or my Great Aunt Sybill's. All of the adults gathered and talked for hours upon end. Us children would either be playing spotlight or creating some sort of skit or "play" for all of the adults to watch at the end of the night.

During the day we would shoot bb guns and ride mopeds... and at night my uncle Boot would usually organize a massive game of spotlight. On Christmas Eve we would gather at my great grandmother's home (the unoccupied house) and we would have Christmas Eve dinner. I remember playing Chinese Christmas and I remember always hearing "Santa's bells" ringing outside which was just a way to excite us kids and make us want to go to bed. Every Christmas Eve my cousin Shara and I would plot how we were going to catch Santa in the act. We always fell asleep before our plan fell through!

Christmas morning was the best! I spent every Christmas morning as a child at Oma and Opa's with my cousins and their families. My grandparents would make coffee for the adults and I think they also made breakfast but I was always to excited to think about eating. A large wooden curtain would close off the kitchen from living room. The adults would always take forever getting all the cameras ready and everything perfect before the curtain would open. The room would be transformed and their would be presents all the way from one side of the room where my grandmother's tree was to the stairs that we trampled down. All of our Santa presents were layed out for all to see! Everyone had their spot they sat in every year to open presents and I always sat next to my Shara. The next couple of hours were spent with paper flying everywhere and everyone screaming and laughing and so excited. You could always hear my brother over everyone, "Daddy, look!" (As if my dad didn't know what Santa brought us!) He always sat on the couch. My sister Tiffany and cousin Kitten would always pass out the presents (and they were very avid that this was THEIR JOB!) and we would spend hours laughing and opening... and then eventually playing with everything we bought. There were so many of us, it was so loud and obnoxious but so much fun. My mom and dad, and my grandmother would sit next to a huge stack of their presents that were still unopened, and watch all of us kids and our excitement. I always remember my grandmother being the last one still opening a huge stack of presents. I thought every family spent Christmas this way, with their extended family. It wasn't until I was in high school that I ever remember having a Christmas at home with just my immediate family.

I loved Christmas in Texas more than anything the world. As I try to put into words what it was like, I really don't feel like I can paint near as beautiful of a picture as it actually was in real life. It has been a long time since my grandmother passed away but I can close my eyes and see her and remember these amazing mornings spent with her and my grandfather. Every year I can't help but think about my cousins and wish they were opening presents right next to me. I want this kind of Christmas for Brooks and Max. It was so exciting and so meaningful. Through all the presents, parties, gatherings and excitement we always remembered the real meaning of Christmas and that is why we were able to gather together every year... to celebrate Jesus' birth. And a celebration it most definitely was! So, when I heard this Third Day song called "Christmas Like A Child" I could not help but think about Texas.

I want to feel Christmas, how it used to be
With all of its wonder falling on me
This season has felt so empty, oh for quite a while
I want to feel Christmas like a child

I want to see snowflakes fall to the ground
My brothers and sisters all gathered around
Singing "Away In A Manager" as we sit by the fire
I want to feel Christmas like a child

It's been so long now, I can't say
Just when I lost my way
But I'm going back to how it was
When this day meant everything
And we spent our time remembering
The baby Child born for us

It's all about Jesus, asleep in the straw
This infant, this King, this Savior for all

So I don't need bells to be ringing
'Cause I'll join with angels singing
And I can feel Christmas like a child
I want to feel Christmas like a child...

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Suzanne said...

oooooooo!!! brit brat!!! love you SOOOO much! what a FUN post to remember our Christmas times at the ranch! some of my absolute BEST memories of my childhood are with you guys at jonesville.
love you all so much!!!

Maome said...

No words can express my feelings right now. I love you and your heartfelt feelings of our Christmas past.

candice holcomb said...

I have felt the same thing for so long it is so great to read it in words. I know it can never be the same and we will always have to fantastic memories to hold close to us, but like you I want that same experience for my girls. We have to start our own family tradition together!!! LET's DO IT!!!

Candice Holcomb said...

I feel the same way Brit! I miss that more than anything in this world. I know if someone asked me if I could be in a room with anyone dead or alive I would say just give me one night with everyone form our Ranch family in Oma's living room "playing and talking".

Shelly said...

Brit, thanks for that post! You put into words what I never could and vividly captured those precious times on the ranch together! What wonderful memories we all have. I miss you guys and hope we can figure out a way to give all of this to our kids in the future! Love you!

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Anonymous said...

The gods tempt people for which they are most weak. Artificial Intelligence will create desire in people's minds for the following sins:::
1. Alcohol
2. Drugs
3. Preditory "earning"
4. Homosexuality
5. Gambling
6. Something for nothing/irresponsibility (xtianity)
7. Polygamy/superiority over women/misogyny (Islam)
Much like the other prophets Mohhamed (polygamy/superiority over women/misogyny) and Jesus (forgiveness/savior), the gods use me for temptation as well. In today's modern society they feel people are most weak for popular culture/sensationalism, and the clues date back to WorldWarII and Unit731:TSUSHOGO.
It has been discussed that, similar to the Matrix concept, the gods will offer a REAL "Second Coming of Christ", while the "fake" Second Coming will come at the end and follow New Testiment scripture and their xtian positioning. I may be that real Second Coming.
What I teach is the god's true way. It is what is expected of people, and only those who follow this truth will be eligible to ascend into heaven as children in a future life. They offered this event because the masses have just enough time to work on and fix their relationship with the gods and ascend, to move and grow past Planet Earth, before the obligatory xtian "consolation prize" of "1000 years with Jesus on Earth" begins.

Your job as a future mother is to learn the god's ways and to help your child understand despite the negative reinforcement and conditioning of today's society. Without consciousous parents the child will have no hope, and may even exaserbate their disfavor by becoming corrupted in today's environment.
Your ultimate goal is to fix your relationship wiith the gods and move on. You don't want to be comfortable here, and the changes in Western society in the last 100 years has achieved just that.
1000 years with Jesus is the consolation prize. Don't be deceived into thinking that is the goal.

The Prince of Darkness, battling the gods over the souls of the Damned.
It is the gods who have created this environment and led people into Damnation with temptation. The god's positioning proves they work to prevent people's understanding.
How often is xtian dogma wrong? Expect it is about the Lucifer issue as well.
The fallen god, fighting for justice for the disfavored, banished to Earth as the fallen angel?
I believe much as the Noah's Flood event, the end of the world will be initiated by revelry among the people. It will be positioned to be sanctioned by the gods and led for "1000 years with Jesus on Earth".
In light of modern developments this can entail many pleasures:::Medicine "cures" aging, the "manufacture" of incredible beauty via cloning as sex slaves, free (synthetic) cocaine, etc.
Somewhere during the 1000 years the party will start to "die off", literally. Only those who maintain chaste, pure lifestyles, resisting these temptations, will survive the 1000 years. Condemned to experience another epoch of planet's history for their ignorant pursuit of xtianity, they will be the candidates used to (re)colonize (the next) Planet Earth, condemned to relive the misery experienced by the peasantry during history due to their failure to ascend into heaven before the Apocalypse.
Never forget:::It is not a house of Jesus.
If this concept of Lucifer is true another role of this individual may be to initiate disfavor and temptation among this new poulation, the proverbial "apple" of this Garden of Eden. A crucial figure in the history of any planet, he begins the process of deterioration and decay that leads civilizations to where Planet Earth remains today.
Which one is it? Probably both:::
One transistions into the other, allowing the gods to wash their hands of obligation to The Chosen One.

Now you are faced with a lifetime to work and prepare for your next chance. Too many will waste this time, getting stoned, "Hiking!", working, etc.

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