Magical Christmas Memories

Do you remember magical Christmas window displays from your childhood? The ones with moving characters set in scenes, filling window after window in the big downtown department store?lazarus christmas tree

A few weeks ago, we stopped at the Precious Moments chapel near Joplin Missouri on our way home from our trip east. Walking through the store/café building brought back wonderful memories from childhood of enjoying special Christmas displays. The “village” was filled with a variety of moving characters—an artist in his studio, a carpenter on a roof, a chandelier-lit ball seen through a tower window and more. My kids were amused by the scenes. I was taken back to childish excitement.

precious moments village“Look!”

precious moments artist“What fun!”

precious moments dancers“Oh, Oh…look up there! They are dancing!”

My kids, as usual, humored me. Some times they just don’t really understand…

These moments took me back, way back to my childhood. To the long drive in the dark, all the way to down town Columbus, filled with overwhelmingly tall buildings. We got out of the warm car and walked, all bundled up against the nipping cold, looking into each display window along the sidewalk at the Lazarus department store. We walked from window to window, all the way around three sides of a city block, oohing and aahing over the scenes, each more wondrous that the last: elves in Santa’s workshop, classic stories (such as Alice in Wonderland) come to life, winter forest scenes, or scenes of polar bears and seals. (Were there penguins mistakenly in the same scenes? Or is that just a faulty imagination?) Tinny Christmas music was playing from speakers. Other families enjoyed the spectacle in front of and behind us. It felt like Christmas, looked like Christmas, and sounded like it, too. lazarus christmas window

Eventually, it was over. We had seen all the windows. We had oohed and aahhed until we were sated with wonder. We piled back in the car, then dozed in the warmth until we finally got back home and tumbled out of the car to head to our beds, with visions of window-scenes dancing in our heads.

Memories of “we always…” (Did we really? How many times did we actually make that pilgrimage??) Memories of wonder, and color, and movement. Memories of special family times at Christmas.

A few weeks ago, it was nice to be taken back, to be reminded, of the simple things that become magical when seen through the eyes of a child…


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