Maybe I'm just a bit sentimental but the picture you see is one of my kids, years ago as young teens. If I recall the day correctly we were shopping and on a whim we decided to have their picture taken with Santa. These memories are what I think back on at this time of year, it was the fun the kids had, the laughter, smiles & anticipation of Christmas morning, the wrapping like mad to keep little eyes from peeking at gifts to early & ruin the surprise. Of course they tell me they "never peeked"
As most families we had pictures taken almost every year as they grew & I do have some of those as well, but I think this picture was the last time any of them sat for a picture with Santa, (to old to do that sort of thing) once you get to be a teen don't ya know. We always had such fun, even as they got older I don't think they were embarrassed to be with parents like some kids are today at least they never said so.
Not only was it the last Santa picture but it was taken at a store that is no longer there but at one time was the center of activity in a busy downtown called Herp's. They always decorated their windows with animated displays of Christmas scenes & it was just part of Christmas to go downtown to see the window decorations. They even had a train that kids could ride in the basement, this train was on the ceiling & would carry kids around the whole store. That was back before Malls had become the place to shop, in fact I don't think we even had a large Mall at the time this was taken, & downtown was the place to be. There were the dime stores where you could get a real cherry coke or malted & smell the peanuts roasting, I think we may even have taken a bus to get there. And you had to walk outside to get from store to store, experiencing the elements of Michigan weather between stores.
Life at Christmas has changed a whole bunch since, but something that will never change is the real reason we celebrate. That is the birth of our Lord & Savior. He came at a very inconvenient time, no stores, no tinsel, no phones, or Ipods, none of the creature comforts we know today. Born to very young parents who most likely felt overwhelmed with how to care for One such as this. He came to save the lost & He is still doing just that today. So remember to thank God for your own children if you have any & to thank Him for sending us a Savior to take our sins away, & give us the gift of eternal life... Wishing you all a Merry Christmas!!!