Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas in Liberty: Excitement and Expectation

"But most of all, I remember Momma." That line comes from a popular TV show during the black and white era sponsored by Maxwell House Coffee (or could it have been Folgers?  The brain sometimes allows memory files to merge).  At Christmas time, I might say, "But most of all, I remember Christmas."

I remember times of saving all year at the Farmers and Citizens Bank in Trotwood in the Christmas Club, to have $25 dollars available for Christmas gifts.  It was always fun to shop for special gifts for family members.  (It seems that the fun continues, having spent time in Barns and Nobles and the Half Price Book Store drooling over books, movies and calendars last night followed by perusal of  "stuff" and clothing in Kohl's- where I delighted in selecting some Match Box vehicles for Andrew, our nearly two year-old grandson).

Miamisburg was a hotbed of shopping opportunity with the 5 and 10 cent store- Woolworth's, Suttman's, Penney's, and Philhower's.  Highlights of those shopping adventures often included the bakery where cream horns and donuts were always tasty and the famous hamburger wagon where the secret formula for one of the world's most unique burger experiences is still intact (why does the once despised onion now add such great flavor to this taste treat?- aging taste buds?).

Liberty never had a bank or a dime store, but we had Santa Claus at the fire department Christmas party, where he gave us kids a box of chocolate drop candy or hard candy and an orange (my brain sees the orange like it was real- was there really an orange?)  We had Christmas Caroling by the Youth Fellowship group from the church.  It was all we needed, since we had the whole USA through the black and white TV sets.  Milton Berle, I Love Lucy, Howdy Doody, Ruth Lyons (Remember Ruby Wright singing, "Let's Light the Christmas Tree"?) and Saturday morning cartoons nourished our appetites for Christmas entertainment with special shows.

The TV specials all seemed to remember Jesus and reinforce the meaning of "the season" daily.  "Naughty or Nice" was tied into Christian beliefs.  The behavior of children was compared to a standard of expectation that would please the baby Jesus.  Jesus coming was in every Christmas hymn.  A small town without cable TV, cell phones, the internet or texting can do a good job with the Baby Jesus.

The excitement mounted for Liberty children as the day neared when the presents and the tree would suddenly be alive with celebration (the baby Jesus clearly had competition on his birthday- even before credit cards were invented)

What are your Christmas time memories?

More later as the memories float through.

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