Christmas Big and Small: Adjusting to My Life in My Hometown

(Following is my column that appeared in the Dec. 18th column of the Devils Lake Journal, where I work as a reporter/writer).

This is the first year I have spent the entire month of December in Devils Lake since I was a freshman in college. In fact, it will  be the first year I’ve spent Christmas in DL in a while.

Some of the things  I’ve enjoyed so far this holiday season have been seeing my nieces and nephew in  action in their school holiday programs, something I was never able to do even when I came home for Christmas during my Big City life. I also am thoroughly
enjoying all the Christmas lights throughout our town, especially the neighborhoods. The last place I lived in Denver was in an apartment off a busy intersection and not many people had holiday lights in or on their apartments. Now I get to see all the brightly, beautifully decorated homes on a daily basis when I am out and about. One of my favorite holiday light houses is not far from where I live near St. Olaf church. Almost every window in this house has a different kind of Christmas tree in it with colorful lights. I slow down to take a better look at it every time I drive by!

I also am remembering Christmas  past. As a kid, I used to love the angel we had on top of our Christmas tree, and as an adult I find myself on the lookout for a similar angel almost every year to decorate the top of my Christmas trees. I have never really found it, however, it’s sometimes hard to replicate an image you form as a child. I also
loved the bubble lights on my maternal grandmother’s Christmas tree in Oberon,
where we would spend Christmas Day, having spent Christmas Eve at my paternal
grandparents house here in DL.

Some of my favorite memories of Christmas Big City style in Colorado are mountain road trips to cut down a Christmas tree, the Denver Zoo lights and the brightly lit city building and Christmas parade. D.C. Holiday memories include taking candlelit tours of the spectacularly decorated White House, taking in the National Christian Choir’s Christmas Concert and the lighting of the National Christmas Tree.

Another excellent Christmas memory is the three weeks prior to Christmas that I spent on vacation in Australia one year. December in the Land Down Under is equivalent to our May, so it seemed odd to see Christmas trees for sale next to flip flops and beach balls and Santas roaming the Aussie beaches distributing candy and taking kids’ wish
lists.

Merry Christmas!

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