By Bobby Harrison/NEMS Daily Journal
JACKSON – It happens almost every year – at different times and places. At some point it will feel like Christmas – at least that is what occurs most years. There will be a special feeling of peace and serenity and oneness. This is my feeling and my feeling alone. I fear it would evaporate, simply slip away if I mentioned the moment to someone else, though I feel certain most all have similar special moments.
But for me, actually, a lot of times – most times – no other person is around for the moment, but perhaps that is because deep down I am an introvert. The moment has come on Christmas Eve after a church service, dinner and present opening involving my lovely wife and four children. It happened after they all went to bed, leaving me to pick up the wrapping scraps that escaped the first cleanup and to turn off the lights on the Christmas tree.
Our tree over the years probably would not win any awards, but looking at the tree and thinking about the night’s activities have left me with near indescribable emotions that included thankfulness and reverence.
The feeling has occurred late on a work day at the state Capitol – decked out for Christmas – when it felt like no one else was in the massive, marble encased building. It also has happened on evening runs, but truth be known when I run now it hurts so much that the only feeling is pain.
While these events are not recorded, I feel certain that this Christmas feeling has happened for your humble scribe most years – with one or two notable exceptions. I recognize from experience that the holiday can be the most difficult time in the world for a grieving or depressed person. Some might believe that special Christmas feeling will never return.
I have never thought about before when and if this special Christmas feeling would happen. I have never really thought about it all. It just happens – kind of like breathing. But when it did happen, I felt in my bones it was Christmas.
When will it happen this year? As I sat here staring at a computer screen, it is yet to occur.
Things seem so much up in the air this year.
Life changes, people grow and traditions evolve. It is part of the process called living. But it can make what were time-tested, comfort-assured Christmas traditions obsolete – a thing of only memories and fleeting special moments.
In my family, now consisting of all people of legal age, no longer do we travel together to Christmas events. Somebody has to work. Somebody else would rather be somewhere else on Christmas.
It’s part of life.
But those days will remain part of what made us – a Christmas Eve church service, dinner at a restaurant and then back to the house to find, lo and behold, Santa had come while we were gone. The kids to this day still question the mystery of how Santa could get into our house during that time.
Then, on Christmas day, there was a trip to grandparents and then to perhaps Laurel and Tupelo to see other grandparents. It made for a busy but rewarding Christmas.
Truth, be known, I am not sure what is going to happen this Christmas – who will be where or when. Truth be known, I am not exactly happy about that. Deep down, I don’t like surprises, which is strange for a person who chose a profession where every day is different and often surprising.
But I am confident that despite the trepidation, it will at some point feel like Christmas – and oh what a feeling that is.
Hopefully, everyone can have that feeling.
Bobby Harrison is the Capitol Bureau chief in Jackson for the Daily Journal. Contact him at (601) 353- 3119 or firstname.lastname@example.org.