The Richmond Register

December 17, 2013

Christmas through the years

By Dick Ham
Register Columnist

RICHMOND — I was just thinking the other day about what the Christmas season has been like for Nancie and me.

From the time we were married in August 1956, we began the practice of spending Christmas Eve with Nancie’s family in Owensboro and Christmas Day with my family in Louisville. As the years went by that became impossible most of the time.

During the years I served as a church music consultant for the Southern Baptists, my office was in Nashville and we lived in Hendersonville, Tenn.

To be with our families, we would write Santa a letter, explaining to him the situation and asking if he would please come early to our house. He never failed to do so.

On the night we planned, I would suggest to our girls that they join me in the car and we would drive around looking at lights and decorations. When we returned home, guess what? Santa had been there. Nancie worked hard and fast to get things displayed by the time we had completed our drive.

Several years later, we discovered we had not fooled Terry and Wendy at all. The moment I suggested a drive to look at lights, they knew Santa would come that night.

For most of our lives, Nancie and I were extremely busy in November and December. We prepared choirs of all ages for Christmas concerts. That often included programs featuring choirs of varying ages. Or it may have been a children’s program or one for youth or adults. We did oratorios, cantatas, Christmas musicals or a variety appropriate music.

Nancie was always extremely busy. She directed children’s choirs, accompanied choirs of all ages and was always at my side to assist when she was needed.

Christmas in our home was always a joy. We could never afford the largest tree, but the one we had was always beautifully decorated. This is another of Nancie’s special talents.

Our girls received numerous gifts, usually small but nice. One of the things Nancie did every year was count very carefully the number of packages each girl had to open. It was very important to Nancie to be certain the number was the same for each.

Our gifts to one another were never expensive, we couldn’t afford that. However they were always given with much love. The joy in our home was mainly because of the hard work Nancie put forth.

We were always very careful to help our girls understand the real meaning of Christmas.

With all the hustle and bustle today, I can’t help wondering how many homes are careful to teach children the important thing about Jesus’ birth.

TRIVIA ANSWER

When statehood was granted to Kentucky, there were 42 churches with 3,095 members.

TRIVIA QUESTION

How do we define calories?

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

If at first you don’t succeed, you’re just like 99.9 percent of the population.