Loran Smith: About Christmas …

Published 3:43 pm Friday, December 23, 2016



The Christmas season is chocked full of memories and fun vignettes which often bring about humility and reverence,  and do we ever need more of that in our fractured world?

The following has nothing to do with the aforementioned, but have you ever wondered what Vladimir Putin is getting for Christmas? Does he even celebrate Christmas? How does one shop for the President-elect? Does anybody care? What do sitting presidents give the White House staff? Do the FOX girls send Christmas cards to Rupert Murdoch? Does Ted Turner eat bison for Christmas dinner? Does Dolly Parton spend Christmas in the kitchen? Does Hillary Clinton email Christmas cards?

We are keenly aware this time of the year that so many get so much, then we are sobered with the knowledge that some don’t get enough. Like not enough to eat, which is why it is the Christmas wish here that the many who do for others at Christmas experience the most enjoyable holiday of all. They deserve it.  Everybody from the food banks to the Salvation Army to cheerful individuals who give of themselves during the Christmas season so that shut-ins, the have-nots and those down on their luck are not forgotten.

When I recall the Christmases of the past, the ones which are the most memorable have to do with children and grandchildren in the days when they were young and tender hearted and wore footed pajamas.

Little feet thumping across the floor to see what Santa has left is one of the most treasured of memories. Little feet hold sway at Christmas, accompanied by innocence and modesty. The pure delight in seeing packages ripped apart, ribbons recklessly detached and paper assaulted with a fury of anxiousness and curiosity — with a robust fire as the backdrop for Christmas morning! A memory everlasting. The scene is repeated when grandchildren come along. Life is good when children enjoy themselves. Happiness is a happy family at Christmas.

Some sentimental favorites of every Christmas season:

  • Bing Crosby singing “White Christmas.”
  • Mel Torme singing “The Christmas Song.” Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…..bet you are now singing along with him. Aren’t we proud these titles, which do not intrude on your nerves and tranquility, have stood the test of time.
  • Christmas cards from a friend you have not heard from in years.
  • Neighborhood parties filled with love and laughter.

For years, we have been honored with a special card at Christmas from Adele and Don Hall of Kansas City. When Adele passed away three years ago, Don continued the family tradition of sending cards with a tree ornament and a holiday message. The cards are created by Hallmark Cards. This year’s card carries the story of the “The Legend of the first Christmas Tree Lights,” and I am pleased to share it with you. If you are blessed with something good, pass it on!

“One evening many centuries ago while passing through the snowy German woods, Martin Luther found himself lost. After praying for comfort and guidance, he looked up and noticed the millions of beautiful twinkling stars overhead.

“He realized that just as God had sent a star to guide the wise men that first Christmas, God would surely be there to guide his way that night.

“Upon arriving home, Luther was greeted by his family decorating their Christmas tree. He told them the story of how God’s twinkling stars had encouraged him as he tried to find his way home in the night.

“To remind them of all God’s light shining through the darkness, he took the candles from the candelabra nearby and fastened them to the branches of the tree.

“And ever since then, shining lights have adorned our beloved Christmas trees, filling our homes with the warmth and glow of the Light of the world.”

Merry Christmas!


Loran Smith is an athletic director at the University of Georgia.