Special Christmas memories

By Rachel Hale

I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas, only a Hippopotamus will do!

This is one of my favorite fun and light-hearted Christmas songs to listen to. I am not entirely sure why, it just brings a smile to my face. I enjoy music just like most everyone else does, but there is something special about Christmas songs that fill me with warmth, happiness and good cheer. Whether they are the cute, funny ones or the traditional hymn style, I love them!

I remember as a child we would play music as we set up the tree. It was always fun to see the ornaments after their year long rest in storage. My favorite part was when my Dad would put the angel on top, step back and survey the tree and then say, “looks good.” That Angel was nothing special, not super expensive or even very pretty really. It was made of painted cardboard, foil and plastic. But the story behind it meant more than anything else. I was told that my mother bought it at the Murphy’s store (daddy called it the five and dime store) one of the first few years they were married. It was the early 1950’s and like many others, they were very frugal with their money. This Angel sat on our tree every year until I moved out of the house. Being the youngest child, this meant that our angel was at least 35 years old at that point and ready for retirement. Daddy gave it to me and I still have it. Although it doesn’t sit atop my tree, I still take it out and remember all those wonderful Christmas’ past.

I just finished getting our house decorated for the season. This year will be special and different than any other Christmas in the past. Why? Because it will be my grandson’s first Christmas! He will be just a couple of days away from 10 months old on Christmas and I am looking forward to seeing him figure out how to unwrap the presents. Most of his presents are clothes, but I did make sure to get a couple of very noisy toys too! It is a grandparent’s right to get annoying toys for their grandchildren, right? I am sure my son and daughter-in-law will be so very happy with my choices. Or maybe not. Either way, I will enjoy giving them to him.

Shopping for presents can be a ton of fun or leave you racking your brain when it comes to the “hard to buy for” person in your family. We all have one. I am told that I am the one in our family. I enjoy trying to surprise my family with their gifts, buying something that they will love but maybe didn’t expect to get is fun for me. My oldest son is just like his dad and seems to figure out at least one or two of them before he unwraps them. I find much joy in giving to my loved ones and seeing their smiles and happiness. I don’t want presents and I tell them that each year my most cherished gift is watching them unwrap theirs and spending time with all of them. Those are memories that will last a lifetime.

If you have a hard to buy for family member over the age of 50, why not buy them a membership to the Senior Center of Sidney Shelby County? It’s a gift that keeps giving all year!

Stop down or call the center for more information.

Until I see you at the Center,

Have a Blessed and Merry Christmas!


By Rachel Hale

The writer is the executive director of the Senior Center of Sidney and Shelby County.

The writer is the executive director of the Senior Center of Sidney and Shelby County.