During the holiday season, I take a break from the usual mysteries or memoirs I’ve been reading and pick up a Christmas themed book. Many Christmases ago my mother purchased a book entitled “ Christmas in my Bones” by W.C. “Mutt” Burton. Being a teenager at the time, I didn’t see how a book written by a 83 year old man could be “cool” so I didn’t read it. This was one of many mistakes I made as a teenager. As I grew older and wiser, I perused this book on Christmas and was pleasantly surprised.
It is a refreshing, honest and simplistic take on what Christmas meant to a man who had experienced its joy 83 times. This was a man who was in love with Christmas and every experience that came with it. He recounts memories of being a small boy from North Carolina and heading into the snow covered woods with his father to cut down their family Christmas tree, to watching in excitement as his granddaughter experienced the simple joys of the holiday for the first time.
W.C. Burton was known for his writing throughout North Carolina and for his acting in the South East region. I am sorry I only discovered him later in life, because I love his style of writing. If I ever experience the bah humbug blues, I only need to read an excerpt from this book to be warmed by his genuine adulation for this wonderful holiday.
Here is an excerpt, I hope you will enjoy:
“Christmas is not only a holiday, a symbolic festival of the utmost importance in Christendom. It is many things joyous. It is a most felicitous state of mind and heart and spirit. It is a time of loving and giving, of gathering the family together, of “God rest ye merry, gentlemen” and of buying for the wife things which cost a bit more than ye can afford.
Well, “ Tis the season to be merry.” Let us greet and keep it with gladness. Christmas has always seemed to me a shining tower at the end of the weary year, a beacon to illuminate its closing and to light the way for the entrance of a brand-new, unused year, forever full of promise and hope. There is a tingle in the crisp air that is unlike any other winter signal. There is a more luminous steel blue in the night sky and a sharper brilliance of stars at Christmas than any other time of the year.
Fold your checkbook, take your hands of your pocketbook, sit still and listen to your heart- you can feel that tingle. Walk outside on a clear Christmas night and look up at the stars-it is a practice advocated by wise men.
No longer quite a boy, to say the least ( and I’m going to say the least about that), I have never become immune to the excitement of Christmas. Every single year I feel the pleasurable sensation. I am stirred by the atmosphere, infused with the warmth, the cheer of every detail of Christmas celebration and symbol. The glow of yellow candlelight. The wreath on the door. The Mazda candles and stars in windows. The special warm quality of lighted church windows and home fires. The carols. The mistletoe. The good things on the table. Christmas Eve. Christmas Day. And the Twelve Days that follow.”
I highly recommend this wonderful read as reminder as to why the holiday season is so beautiful and deserves to be celebrated.
I wish you all a very happy holiday season, full of happiness, relaxation, family and good food! See you in 2013!!