The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Christmas signs stir memories

By Bethany Peterson/editor-in-chief

Without a calendar, I can still tell Christmas is close. Two signs never fail to wake the happy excitement in me: pumpkin pie and the candy cane-like scene of headlights and taillights.

Yes, the long ribbons of red taillights and white headlights stretched out and occasionally intertwining signal Christmas to me. They mean the days are getting shorter and evoke memories of coming home with a car full of presents to be wrapped and hidden under the tree with giggles and nervous anticipation for the receiver’s response.

My favorite response was when I gave my brother a remote-controlled car. True, the thing only lasted about two months before it broke down and he took it apart to see how it worked. But I really didn’t care because when he opened it, he launched himself across the living room to strangle me with his thank-you hug.

Memories like this keep me from dreading Christmas’ approach. They overwhelm the stress of finals and the tangled mess of gift deliberations and hunting, leaving me a warmth inside separate from my frozen fingers.

Christmas also means family and traditions. It starts with the tree. The day we get everything out of the attic, perform the who-will-put-what-on-the-tree-this-year routine and end with a tree-light gathering of the tired, happy family is carefully scheduled so everyone is there.

When my family sits down around the tree Christmas Day to start opening presents, there is another routine we know by heart. Mom has to find her glasses, one brother has to run and get the trash can, the other has to get the paper-recycling bag, and we all have to hunt for the black knife someone put somewhere so safe it takes five people nine minutes to find it. And somewhere in all that, someone is bound to make a quip destined to be remembered and rehashed all year long.

But the candlelight service on Christmas Eve is my holiday’s true center. Old hymns and quiet prayers keep my mind from spinning out of control. The season shifts back into focus. The frustrations and strife diminish in importance.

After the last piece of pie is gone and the cold weather loses the enchantment of wonderland, I can’t wait for summer again. But when the days shorten next year, I’ll be ready.

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