While the holidays fill with anticipation, we bake, write cards, decorate the tree, attend church and school programs.
On Christmas Day, it’s time to hush the bright clamor and remember the Savior’s birth. This reckoning offers the true focus of Christmas — faith, family and fellowship.
During the Christmas Trees of Davidson County and in our encounters in the community, the Times asked this question: What is your Christmas wish?
Regardless of age, the answers focused on family.
Toria Mangum, Miss Thomasville, answered with this: “My wish would be that I could have my great-grandma back, because she helped keep our family together.”
Jessica Hughes, Miss Central Carolina Outstanding Teen Carolina Princess, wishes this: “If I had one Christmas wish, I would want to be home for Christmas with family members who have passed, just to have all of my family together for one holiday gathering.”
The Times staff shares its Christmas wishes.
Christmas Day offers a recollection of long ago family memories. I was brought up on Noah Town Road in Davidson County. I don’t remember gifts, but the moments of a Wray family meal live in my heart. Aunts, uncles and at least a dozen cousins would attend. I hope my husband and I have given our three children those special memories.
My wish for Thomasville: Our lives are shaped by experiences — from family and church to school and community. May each child experience moments that lead to a loving life, which will lead to a strong community.
Christmas takes on a much different meaning as a parent. As my own children grow up their wish lists no longer include Barbie dolls, Pokemon cards or action figures. Gift cards to stores I can’t pronounce, electronic gadgets I can’t figure out and straight-up cash seem to be the trend in my household this year. Old adages stick around because so often they are true. Your time with your children as children truly is short.
My wish for Thomasville: I remember that someone special once told me life is about the little things. I would hope that more people will spend 2014 enjoying the little things. It seems to me that if you do that, the big things will take care of themselves.
When it comes to Christmas, the child inside me always comes out. Around the office I am known as the guy who starts listening to Christmas music the day after Halloween. I figure if I can listen to regular music for 10 months, then two months of holiday tunes should be no problem.
As a child, Christmas to me meant finding that perfect tree, indulging in food traditions like ham biscuits and barbecue, and of course a plethora of presents nestled on top of the tree skirt. But as I’ve gotten older, my parents have taught me the true meaning of Christmas. A babe, born in a manger who was brought to earth to save the souls of man.
My daughter is nearly 4 years old and had a part in the church Christmas play Sunday. Her line reads, “I love the baby Jesus, who in the manger lay.” My wish is that as she gets older, those 10 words become real to her and that she will truly understand the meaning of this joyous occasion.
My wish for Thomasville: Whether you agree with my beliefs or not, one thing we can stand together on is celebrating our families and the blessings we have received in life. I think a lot of times we do not fully understand just how well off we truly are. Please do not miss out on the opportunity to let your family members know just how much you love them. And take a step back from the presents and feasts for a moment to give thanks for the things you have that many throughout this world do not.
For my family, Christmas will forever be a reminder of what one man did to infuse hope in a world where there was none. I celebrate each year by gathering with these individuals to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus. I wish I could say we always discuss the sacrifice He made to live as a man. The reality is that my loved ones are not immune from the impact of corporate America. We have largely embraced these ideals, exchanging presents and engaging the holiday rush.
My wish for Thomasville, however, as I leave my post Dec. 31, is that individuals from this lovely community — my hometown — would embrace the Spirit the birth of Christ offers. Retain the hope that I’ve seen evade many.
The Times staff wishes you all a Merry Christmas.