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The Holidays of Our Era

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The Holidays of Our Era

The holiday season has the power to transform the mundane into the miraculous. It is the special ingredient in flaky pie crust and the mystic force that makes snow fall perfectly in soft, white, blanketing mounds. As a boy, that is how the holidays always came through to me.

The Christmases of my childhood were postcard-perfect holiday scenes. All the family on my father’s side would meet at my grandparents’ house just outside of town to spend the holiday together around their twelve-foot Christmas tree. My family all worked together at our grocery store, Blue Goose Market. Most of the warm conversation was continued from the day’s work, sharing stories of favorite customers, large orders filled for other families’ celebrations, and the spectacular business of the day. My grandmother would set out the most abundant feast imaginable. All of us - aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins - sat around the beautifully ornate, highly polished dining room table, which was adorned with white, lacey linens. Each place was carefully set with elegant china and framed by gleaming silver flatware. More times than not, the pumpkin pie was served with a finger print in it. These sterling memories are the past we all recreate for the holidays today.  However, children grow into adults, and the space of wonder is filled with responsibility and the weight of experience.

Today, I’ve returned home to run the store which played such a role in our holiday scene, and quite a bit of our environment has evolved.  And that is true for all of us throughout our world.  The pace of life runs at a speed my grandparents never experienced.  However, the part of my job which I hold most dear is absolutely no different than it was two generations earlier.  I now set the table, and I’m responsible for instilling a connection to doing better for the people we serve.  That’s never more important than at the holidays.

At the start of the day down at the store this holiday season, I reflect on those magical moments from my youth.  I remember my grandparents gleaming table with our marvelous feasts and realize that it was the warmth and joy with which dinner was served that made that indelible mark.  The recipe for a timeless holiday starts with great food, but magical moments are made of more than that.  It’s crafting a holiday scene so thick with holiday goodness that everyone is compelled to celebrate with joyful abandon, as we do the little tasks like wrapping gifts, planning meals, and assembling those special ingredients we’ll mix into our own concoction of sugar plum fairy dust.  That’s why I love my job. 

It’s with great pride that I take on that solemn responsibility to set a backdrop so wonderful that it infects everyone who happens by overwhelming good cheer.  It’s the same duty my grandparents accepted with such grace.

When I think back on my affection for my early Christmases, the greatest warmth comes from the pride I felt from knowing my family loved taking care of our community’s feasts.  That hasn’t changed at all.  Just like my grandparents before me, I feel like I have the best job in the world – I sell great food to people for whom I care deeply: old friends, new friends, and those I have yet to meet.  The feelings are the same.  That mystic force of connection and joyful celebration lives strongly in the hearts of everyone who knows that it’s worth it to love those around us, and to do better and care more.  That is what I believe, and from there those moments which live in our hearts for eternity are born. 

I wish you all the warmest of holiday seasons!  I hope you will share in the celebration with us all down at the store! 

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