We are open December 24, 9:00am-3:00pm & Closed Christmas Day! Re-open Monday 11:00am
The featured picture is of myself at age twelve with my siblings in a Christmas pageant that we put together for the family for the holidays…..
 
Remember the reason for the season, and spread all the joy that you can to everyone you come into contact with forevermore. My Christmas prayer is for Peace On Earth and Holiday Harmony. As a big music lover with very eclectic taste I have left a small sampling of some of my favorite songs besides the traditional carols that everyone knows. Pour yourself a cup of hot brewed tea and enjoy the tunes. To quote one of the best books ever written, “Merry Christmas, and May God Bless us, every one.” by Charles Dickens from “A Christmas Carol”. (So sorry, You Tube took down my eclectic collection of holiday music).

This time of year I get out my expansive collection of holiday music and start to crank it up on the stereo. One song by a British front man, Roy Wood, cycles endlessly in my stream of consciousness, “I wish it could be Christmas every day…” seems to echo my sentiments for this very special time of year. My most beloved Christmas carol, “O’ Holy Night” sends shivers up my spine every time I hear it. With at least eighty different versions of this song sung by various artists my spine shivers a lot!

The holidays mean different things to everyone, however for me they mostly remind me of sharing, caring, and family, both past and present. Christmas also reminds me of things I no longer have, a brother, a mother, a father and all of my grandparents that once played an intimate role in my life. My personal viewpoint is that they have never really left the earth because they are all inside my heart and their guidance still speaks to me in various ways.

My favorite all time gift was a handmade doll house when I was a young girl made by my Father that was later passed to my Sister. Memories of family gatherings over a huge dinner and drinking eggnog, eating rum cake, and opening presents while listening to the Christmas music of the day fill my mind. I hear Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Doris Day, and every other artist that came out of the woodwork to make a holiday record. My Father had them all and passed his love of music forward to all of us.

Our family gave each other gifts that we made with our own hands because it was our way of sharing ourselves with those we love and appreciate. It took many hours of thought and craftsmanship to finally finish a gift. We sacrificed our time and we let Christmas music fill the air as we worked on all of our projects together. None of the gifts were expected to be perfect, just loved unconditionally. We often baked cookies for everyone in the neighborhood. We had a sense of community and took baked goods to the local firehouse and police stations out of gratitude for their service on our behalf.

Christmas holds many childhood family memories of growing up with my sister and my brothers and of course my mothers and fathers and all of the extended family I inherited once I was married and had a family of my own. It’s the time of year when “A Christmas Story” by the humorist author Jean Shepherd appears on television back to back with another holiday staple, “It’s A Wonderful Life” co-written and directed by Frank Capra featuring actor Jimmy Stewart ruling the cable channel selections.

I could have lived inside either one of those movies because so many parts of those movies have paralleled my own life at various stages. I was the victim of a “double dog dare” and stuck my tongue to a frozen bannister during recess because my best friend at the time told me that I would no longer be her best friend if I didn’t do it. Once my tongue became stuck she laughed and deserted me when the bell rang for recess to be over. Some teacher came to my rescue when I did not return from recess and gently peeled my tongue loose but I still couldn’t taste anything for weeks.

In “It’s a Wonderful Life”; Jimmy Stewart’s character sacrificed his own desires to help with the family business so his brother could have a better life. This is how I grew up; I had all the responsibility of an adult and learned the meaning of sacrifice from an early age. My grandmother called it ”intestinal fortitude”, and I must admit it has helped me throughout all of the challenges that you face in life.

Religion is one of those subjects that I don’t really feel the need to discuss openly brecause it carries such debate. My values and views were based in part on being exposed to religion at an early age. I respect that every one has a right to practice their own beliefs. I don’t believe in forced religion, no matter how persuasive one person may try to be. I am not attempting to convert my beliefs on anyone else. I am simply telling a story.

I was the great-granddaughter of a Methodist preacher and I learned the lessons in the Bible as bedtime reading by my grandmother. She was a wonderful giving woman to whom I owe a lot of my spiritual guidance. Daisy was an arithmetic teacher (what they once called math) and a Sunday school teacher at Church. I spent many hours playing out Bible stories on her flannel easel with flannel backed cut out characters from The Bible. I used to make up my own stories, giving the characters conversations and played with them on that flannel board for hours. My siblings did not like going to Church and I was the only one confirmed into two religions.

As I got older and had a daughter of my own. I introduced her to every religion on the planet and took her to every type of church from a Jewish Synagogue to traveling to New York’s Central Park to hear Richard Gere introduce a two hour gathering with the Dali Llama. Attending Church and listening to the sermons was not of interest to my daughter, but listening to the choir literally struck a chord within her. Since she was a baby I played every Christmas song imaginable and if that is her connection to a belief that we are one world despite all of the religious inclinations and doctrines that exist then this is acceptable to me. As a parent I have provided her with a spiritual education to make her own choices on how she accepts a higher power.

There will always be hypocrisy, splinter groups that lose sight of the purpose of religion, prejudice, and persecution for beliefs other than one’s own. To this I say, we are all one people brought together upon this earth to join hands and build faith not tear it apart. To this I quote John Lennon, “Give Peace A Chance”. The real meaning of Christmas is a simple message from spreading joy to the world and sharing the holiday with family and friends and observing tradition but always making room for new ones.

I know angels sing because I have had many blessings and I hear their voices in every song I play during the holidays.  I am a product of every experience and teaching that has been bestowed upon me. I still believe that you make your own path in life but there are no coincidences. Things do happen with purpose and meaning if only to make us change direction in life.

However you celebrate the holidays make them count, and if you are lucky you will remember to treasure them now and always.

Enjoy!

Marsha Goodale

A special thanks to all of our customers who have brought in home baked goods, candy, and cards for the staff!

 

 

 

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