By: Jack Swift
Johnson County Historian
Well, Christmas 2017 is history. It was a time of happiness for a myriad of people across this great globe that we live on. It comes only once a year, but it is a date that we look forward to each year.
Although it is highly commercialized, Christians celebrate it as a memorial to Jesus, the Messiah, whom God sent into the world to be a propitiation for sin. For the church universal, there are a number of orders-of-worship and activities shared by the individual churches that make up the universal church.
Anyway, aside from the religious aspect of Christmas which I believe should be paramount, many folks celebrate that very important day on the calendar as a time to exchange gifts and cards, family get-togethers, attending church services etc.
While as I understand it, the exact date of Jesus’ birth is not known, I believe it is proper to set aside a certain date to recognize and celebrate his coming into the world as a baby with all the awe and wonder it entails.
During my years growing up in the Swift Hollow section of Johnson County and subsisting on the small acreage that was our farm, we didn’t have a great deal of extra money, but we usually found a natural tree on our property and decorated it with lights, ornaments and colorful garland. In an earlier time threaded popcorn might have been used.
Many Christmases were bitter cold, and sometimes there was snow blanketing the ground. And of course, family and friends often came by to share in that special day and the festive atmosphere of it. Presents were exchanged.
Christmas 2017 was a great time for my wife Mary and I. Mary’s sister Carol shared Christmas dinner with us and we exchanged gifts. I have a niece who lives in Sherman, Texas and a nephew who lives in Powell, Tennessee near Knoxville. Every year we send a box of gifts to my niece and she and her family sends us a box of gifts as well. My nephew and his family visited us on the evening of Christmas day and we exchanged gifts.
So, our Christmas was very merry this year. It was fun to open our Christmas cards and send them too. Now a new year is upon us. What will we do with it? I hope you have a happy and prosperous 2018.