When I was a kid, and Christmas day was over, we piled our gifts under the tree, a separate pile for each one of us and when visitors came, our mother would say, “Aren’t you going to show them your gifts?” I thought it was fun to do this. We lived in a suburban neighborhood near Chester, PA. and now I wonder if this was a local custom?
As I think about it, our gifts really weren’t that exciting. We got socks, underwear, and pajamas and they were to last us until next Christmas. There was a game or two, the kind you play at a table, not hand-held.
Mom usually got something for the house. There were ties and socks for dad. Everyone was courteous about sitting through ‘the showing.’ When I went to my friends’ homes they showed their gifts, too. Is there less of this done today? Is this a forgotten custom? Maybe “neighborhood” is the answer. Our street was lined with homes and kids. As I think back, I wonder if when we moved to the country, there was less of this because there were no close neighbors.
You could call it “Christmas Show and Tell.” And although you haven’t showed your face at our door, I’m inviting you to come in and see what
my husband and I got for Christmas. Are you surprised? You probably thought I would show you a new Bible or something to help us in ministry. But no, you are looking at a record player. It’s made by Crosley, a company that’s been in the radio-record player business since 1920.
Yes, it’s like the ones we played our 78’s and 33’s on years ago. High fidelity may not be as high, but today people are even enjoying the old, “soft mellow” sound we used to hear, while hoping for something better to come. I guess you could call it retro or nostalgia and both of these are really popular today. Items like
pocket watches, old phones, aprons, posters, dress patterns from the 40’s, vintage light bulbs, and old books are among the things people are enjoying and prove that sentimentality for the past is in. Some say it becomes more popular during times of great upheaval. Do you think that describes today?
I have to level with you. Something happened that got us thinking this gift would be a good choice this Christmas. One of our sons, Alan, gave his father three old records for his birthday. All three feature the music of dutch band organs which operated in the early 1900’s. Vinyls are back. We had nothing to play the records on. We do now! We read nothing but raves from the reviews given by owners of this player and it was at a reasonable price. So there’s the story of our Christmas gift and what we would have shown you had you paid us a visit.
Music is among the many things that can trigger nostalgia, so can important events, people we care about, and places where we’ve spent time. Thinking about these can bring a bittersweet longing for things, persons and situations of the past. Someone said Nostalgia makes you feel that life has roots and continuity. That explains why items of the past are popular and why at Christmas time everyone works at making memories. They are the best Christmas gifts. Although there is a emphasis on gift giving here, we know the greatest gift is our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.