Christmas in Caspian, Michigan
As I sit in my living room reminiscing about Christmases celebrated a long time ago (over 55 years ago to be exact), I remember vividly my family shopping, attending mass, decorating the tree, wrapping gifts, and preparing the traditional Christmas meal of homemade ravioli, noodles, and ham. Back then, in the late 1950s and early 1960s, life seemed so different. For example, we would travel from Caspian, where I lived, to Iron River, a distance of around three miles. In those days, traveling to Iron River felt like going to a large city, and it was!
When we traveled to Iron River during Christmas, we would stroll up and down the main street, stopping at various stores to look at toys and other items. Sometimes, we just looked at the displays in the windows. All of the time, we would hope that Santa would bring us the presents that we selected.
Along with the shopping, I remember the streets decorated with Christmas lights and ornaments. Sometimes in our household, money was scarce, and so our celebrations were tepid and had to be adjusted. I remember the time when the kindergarten classroom in the Caspian Elementary School discarded their tree before leaving for the Christmas holiday. Well, that tree, minus a multitude of needles, ended up in the Paul family’s living room. All of us decorated the tree with tinsel, lights, and ornaments; we were so thankful that we had a tree.
As I stated before, money at times was very tight and we had to make things for presents and could not purchase gifts that were priced beyond our means. I remember receiving a sweater from Shwartz’s store in Caspian. My feelings were of disappointment, but no one noticed and those feelings quickly transformed into thankfulness and appreciation for what I had received.
Then came the meal of homemade ravioli. We (my brother, sister, me, Mom, and Dad) would gather around the table to make the ravioli. It took literally hours to complete, and unbeknownst to me, we were creating good memories that would last for my lifetime, and an event that I could pass on to another generation. By that, I mean today we are making raviolis at my son’s home with my two grandchildren. This is with a different twist, as I am making the raviolis in the mold of flying saucers, reindeer, and elephants which the children really enjoy.
Gone are my father, brother, and sister but the memories that we created continue, and with their families as well, because they make ravioli too. Enjoy this Christmas, and future ones as well, because what you do will last long after you are gone.
Remember, it is not about the expense of the gift or even the gift itself. It is about families being together and celebrating the birth of Christ. So, let’s put Christ back in Christmas and from the Dan Paul family to all of you, have a Merry Christmas!
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