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My favorite Christmas present this year

Posted by Carole C in NOLA on 12/24/02 at 07:22 (103890)

I already know what my favorite Christmas present is this year (but you have to read this whole post to find out).

Frank came to town (no that's not it! LOL). The night before last we went to Outback, saw a movie, and drove around New Orleans, and then last night after I got off work, we went to the bookstore so that he could finish his Christmas shopping. Then, we went to a restaurant for dinner and he drove me through 'Christmas in the Park'.

'Christmas in the Park' is a display of Christmas lights that local residents have been telling me about for years, but which I never saw before. It's fabulous, and goes on for what seems like miles. The massive displays of beautiful, blinking colored Christmas lights made me feel like a child again, so happy and amazed at everything. What you do at 'Christmas in the Park' is pay $10/car to get in and then you drive at about 2 mph behind all the other cars for an hour or two through New Orleans' huge City Park, looking at the many extravagant displays of lights that have been set up in the park. So, we had lots of time to talk and share what we were thinking as we watched. Frank not only talked about the lights but also reminisced about his childhood and told me stories about different parts of the park that we passed, and things he had seen and done there at various times during his life.

So, you've been good and have read this whole post, so here's my favorite present: After 'Christmas in the Park' he said this was the first Christmastime of his entire 49 year life when he had actually felt genuinely happy! I believe him, too. Apparently this was the first time he has been able to go out with a friend and enjoy the fun and beauty of a happy, normal Christmas season without the extra misery or family problems that normally plague him terribly at this time of year.

Not only does he have some past deaths in the family at this time of year to depress him, as many of us do, but also when he was a kid and teen he had an exceptionally hard time around Christmas for reasons I shouldn't go into here. I'll just say that people should always be especially kind to little children at Christmas and never be cruel to them! But there are a lot of mean people in the world and so not everyone has joyful Christmas memories to look back on.

But anyway, my best Christmas gift was accidently helping someone to be happy during this season for the very first time in his life. I wasn't even trying to help, but just happened to be with him and I was genuinely having fun too. It's just like you all said in posts below. It is a wonderful feeling to help someone else who is feeling a little down, even though it was sort of accidental and even though it is not a big deal in the grand scheme of things. It really got me into the Christmas spirit and that helped me to feel happy and peaceful, too.

Carole C

Re: My favorite Christmas present this year

Julie on 12/24/02 at 08:11 (103893)

That's really lovely, Carole - what a wonderful thing for you, and for him. But it wasn't accidental - he chose to be with you.

I'm glad he did!

Re: My favorite Christmas present this year

Kathy G on 12/24/02 at 08:27 (103897)

Carole,

That park sounds just wonderful! I am a Christmas light freak - I just love to ride around and look at them. When I was a little girl, we used to go to a Monastery that lighted every building and it was a highlight of my Christmas season. It was like a fairy-land. I reminded my older sister of that the other day and she had forgotten all about it. She mentioned that back in those days, few people lighted outdoors so it was a very rare sight.

I'm so glad you were able to brighten Frank's holidays and that you're having such a good time!

Enjoy the rest of the holidays!

Re: My favorite Christmas present this year

Suzanne D on 12/24/02 at 09:23 (103907)

Dear Carole,

That was a lovely post to read; thanks for sharing with us! I had hoped that you had a nice time during your dinner out with Frank. It sounds like it was an especially good evening, and I am happy about that for you and for Frank. I have been unable to connect to the internet for a couple of days, and my school computers have now been taken out of the room with our moving, so that left me with no means of communication! I am hurriedly typing now, just in case our computer messes up again!

I worked all day in my new classroom yesterday, and while I am certainly not finished, I have done a great deal toward being ready for the children on the 6th of January. I know feelings can be fickle, and I am looking forward to mine changing soon, but right now, the old school feels like home, and the new school feels like a job. But I am sure that when we make some memories in the new school, it won't feel like that.

We have a small version of your 'Christmas in the Park' in the town 15 miles from here. It is wonderful to drive through each year.

Merry Christmas

Re: My favorite Christmas present this year

Suzanne D on 12/24/02 at 09:24 (103908)

Dear Carole,

That was a lovely post to read; thanks for sharing with us! I had hoped that you had a nice time during your dinner out with Frank. It sounds like it was an especially good evening, and I am happy about that for you and for Frank. I have been unable to connect to the internet for a couple of days, and my school computers have now been taken out of the room with our moving, so that left me with no means of communication! I am hurriedly typing now, just in case our computer messes up again!

I worked all day in my new classroom yesterday, and while I am certainly not finished, I have done a great deal toward being ready for the children on the 6th of January. I know feelings can be fickle, and I am looking forward to mine changing soon, but right now, the old school feels like home, and the new school feels like a job. But I am sure that when we make some memories in the new school, it won't feel like that.

We have a small version of your 'Christmas in the Park' in the town 15 miles from here. It is wonderful to drive through each year.

Merry Christmas!
Suzanne :-)

Re: Sorry for the triple posting! (eom)

Suzanne D on 12/24/02 at 09:25 (103910)

.

Re: My favorite Christmas present this year

Carole C in NOLA on 12/24/02 at 09:39 (103914)

Suzanne,

I think you have figured out the key to happiness in your new class room... making new and joyful memories! The new class room is like a clean slate just waiting for new memories to be built there, and you will be the first to begin building new memories of your room.

It's terrific that you have done so much already in preparation for January 6th. With any luck you will be able to get a few days' rest in before you go back. That new carpet that you bought should be a help, too.

Do go to see the Christmas lights in your area this year if you can! It's so nice to take some time off from all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, and to do something that doesn't hurt the feet.

Carole C

Re: My favorite Christmas present this year

Suzanne D on 12/24/02 at 13:04 (103919)

Thanks, Carole. You always know just what to say.

Merry Christmas!
Suzanne :-)

Re: My favorite Christmas present this year

Julie on 12/24/02 at 08:11 (103893)

That's really lovely, Carole - what a wonderful thing for you, and for him. But it wasn't accidental - he chose to be with you.

I'm glad he did!

Re: My favorite Christmas present this year

Kathy G on 12/24/02 at 08:27 (103897)

Carole,

That park sounds just wonderful! I am a Christmas light freak - I just love to ride around and look at them. When I was a little girl, we used to go to a Monastery that lighted every building and it was a highlight of my Christmas season. It was like a fairy-land. I reminded my older sister of that the other day and she had forgotten all about it. She mentioned that back in those days, few people lighted outdoors so it was a very rare sight.

I'm so glad you were able to brighten Frank's holidays and that you're having such a good time!

Enjoy the rest of the holidays!

Re: My favorite Christmas present this year

Suzanne D on 12/24/02 at 09:23 (103907)

Dear Carole,

That was a lovely post to read; thanks for sharing with us! I had hoped that you had a nice time during your dinner out with Frank. It sounds like it was an especially good evening, and I am happy about that for you and for Frank. I have been unable to connect to the internet for a couple of days, and my school computers have now been taken out of the room with our moving, so that left me with no means of communication! I am hurriedly typing now, just in case our computer messes up again!

I worked all day in my new classroom yesterday, and while I am certainly not finished, I have done a great deal toward being ready for the children on the 6th of January. I know feelings can be fickle, and I am looking forward to mine changing soon, but right now, the old school feels like home, and the new school feels like a job. But I am sure that when we make some memories in the new school, it won't feel like that.

We have a small version of your 'Christmas in the Park' in the town 15 miles from here. It is wonderful to drive through each year.

Merry Christmas

Re: My favorite Christmas present this year

Suzanne D on 12/24/02 at 09:24 (103908)

Dear Carole,

That was a lovely post to read; thanks for sharing with us! I had hoped that you had a nice time during your dinner out with Frank. It sounds like it was an especially good evening, and I am happy about that for you and for Frank. I have been unable to connect to the internet for a couple of days, and my school computers have now been taken out of the room with our moving, so that left me with no means of communication! I am hurriedly typing now, just in case our computer messes up again!

I worked all day in my new classroom yesterday, and while I am certainly not finished, I have done a great deal toward being ready for the children on the 6th of January. I know feelings can be fickle, and I am looking forward to mine changing soon, but right now, the old school feels like home, and the new school feels like a job. But I am sure that when we make some memories in the new school, it won't feel like that.

We have a small version of your 'Christmas in the Park' in the town 15 miles from here. It is wonderful to drive through each year.

Merry Christmas!
Suzanne :-)

Re: Sorry for the triple posting! (eom)

Suzanne D on 12/24/02 at 09:25 (103910)

.

Re: My favorite Christmas present this year

Carole C in NOLA on 12/24/02 at 09:39 (103914)

Suzanne,

I think you have figured out the key to happiness in your new class room... making new and joyful memories! The new class room is like a clean slate just waiting for new memories to be built there, and you will be the first to begin building new memories of your room.

It's terrific that you have done so much already in preparation for January 6th. With any luck you will be able to get a few days' rest in before you go back. That new carpet that you bought should be a help, too.

Do go to see the Christmas lights in your area this year if you can! It's so nice to take some time off from all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, and to do something that doesn't hurt the feet.

Carole C

Re: My favorite Christmas present this year

Suzanne D on 12/24/02 at 13:04 (103919)

Thanks, Carole. You always know just what to say.

Merry Christmas!
Suzanne :-)