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Carol Perkins: Being a part of church at Christmas time

For those children who don't have a church to attend or a Christmas program to in which to participate, I urge parents to take them. If you can't, at least send them. Some of my happiest times growing up was with my extended church family. - CAROL PERKINS
Next earlier Carol Perkins column, the hilarious: Historic moment in Upton, KY

By Carol Perkins

For as long as I can remember, I have been part of a church. For as long as I can remember, we have celebrated the birth of Jesus with a manger scene, shepherds, wise men, Joseph and Mary, and angels. As a small child, I was an "angel in training," which meant when I was middle school age, I became a "grown-up" angel. The costumes never changed. When I was a senior, I narrated the program, which was a huge honor and responsibility. I never forgot that Ruth Butler had enough faith in me to put me in that spot. I was a nervous wreck before I began, but I remember feeling a calm come over me as the candles flickered in the windows and the children took their places at the manger scene. God's hand at work.

When I was very young, I remember our mothers shaping coat hangers into wings, covering them in crepe paper, and outlining the wings with silver tinsel. We wore "sheet" robes and with some type of string, tied the wings around us. We stood proudly behind Mary and Joseph (always two teenagers) and tried not to get tickled from nerves. Playing an angel was a big roll for a little girl.

The Christmas tree at church was decorated with ornaments and tinsel and colored lights. Back then we didn't have twinkle lights; just the big colored ones that can't be bought readily today. The star on top was often made of aluminum foil and the best part of all-it was a real tree, so the smell of cedar filled the church. Santa came during the program on the Sunday night before Christmas, and passed out gifts to the children. The preacher's gift was always money on a Christmas money tree. It looked like a fortune to a little girl.

For as long as I can remember, I loved the sounds of Christmas. We sang the traditional songs like "Joy to the World" and when I was older, the choir started having cantatas. The music moved from ordinary Christmas music to more classic pieces with background tapes. I enjoy both the old and the new. Nothing says Christmas more than "Beautiful Star of Bethlehem."

I watch now as young people carry on the Christmas tradition. We still have the manger scene, the story of the birth of Jesus, the angels (no more crepe paper), the shepherds, and the wisemen kneeling around Joseph and Mary. We have mothers making sure costumes are ready, daddy's videoing the programs, and take pictures with phones. The story never grows old and the older I become, the more sentimental I am about Christmas.

For those children who don't have a church to attend or a Christmas program to in which to participate, I urge parents to take them. If you can't, at least send them. Some of my happiest times growing up was with my extended church family.

(My new book, A Girl Named Connie, is available at Blossoms Florist and Boutique Unique, 507 Happy Valley Road, Glasgow, KY 42141, Phone 270-629-3597; the Edmonton/Metcalfe Chamber of Commerce, 109 E Stockton Street, Edmonton, KY, Phone 270-432-3222; and the Lighthouse Restaurant, 1500 Sulphur Well/Knob Lick Road, Sulphur Well Historic District, KY 42129. Phone 270-629-3597. And Also on

Contact: Carol Perkins, PO Box 134, Edmonton, KY 42129. Phone 670-432-5756.

This story was posted on 2016-12-03 05:11:04
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