Delighted to welcome Chuck Jackson with his Christmas post from 2016. He shares his experience of Christmas through his childhood, parenthood and to the present time.
The Significance of Christmas by Chuck Jackson
I am not sure when we age if the Christmas holidays become more or less significant. As a child, I couldn’t wait for December 25th. It seemed after Thanksgiving, it would never get here. The excitement was waking up Christmas morning to experience what Santa Claus had brought. Even when I knew about Santa, my family continued to celebrate his arrival. We exchanged gifts within the family, but Santa still took center stage.
When I became a parent,Christmas excitement returned. I was just as excited as when I was a child to give my daughter that magical time of Santa Claus’s arrival. Sitting next to the tree until late hours, assembling those toys, bicycles, etc. was never a chore; it was fun. I always made sure I consumed the milk and cookies she set out for Santa. I always left one cookie with a bite taken out as evidence of Santa’s arrival. To watch the excitement on her face when she saw what Santa had brought created memories never forgotten.
When my daughter left home, my Christmases changed and we created new traditions. Mid-night Mass took precedence over anything else. A Christmas without going to church seemed empty and incomplete. Waking up Christmas morning without Santa’s visit also left a void. Not every year did she come home for Christmas, yet when she did those seemed extra special.
Next, were the years when my daughter became an adult and she lived in the area. Christmas tradition changed again. Church services on Christmas Eve remained foremost. Nevertheless, we always shared Christmas dinner with her. When she became busy with her friends, she often cooked the dinner and she invited us. If she had a special person in her life, Christmas dinner was at our house and we invited him.
A few years ago, my daughter married and she now lives a distance that makes it difficult for her to return home. To visit her is equally problematic. Christmas tradition has changed once again. What hasn’t changed is going to Mid-night Mass. We still feel it isn’t Christmas without attending church. Christmas Day finds us having dinner at a friend’s or our home, and sometimes we go out. The exchanging of gifts is now absent.
The money we would spend, we use to buy something special we both want.
This year, my daughter and her husband have a new son. It will be interesting to see what traditions she chooses. Will she carry those traditions I experienced as a child and carried forward to her childhood? Will she create her own? When my grandson gets a little older, that excitement of Christmas morning will return and maybe I might get to experience it with him.
For the last 33 years, what has been significant is the person I share Christmas with. My life partner and now husband has been that solidarity in my life that was missing. Beginning with our first Christmas, what contributed to making them special was sharing them with him. He adapted to the changing traditions as I did and we made each Christmas that special time of the year. Spending a Christmas without him is a tradition I hope I don’t experience for a long time.
Now I ask again, does the Christmas holidays become less significant as we age? For me the answer is no. Our traditions have change, but the significance never wavers. Santa through the years took on an important role. However, celebrating the coming of Christ each year by attending Mid-night Mass will always be a significance and a tradition that will never change.
May the Blessing of Christmas be with you and your family. God Bless.
©Chuck Jackson 2016
Chuck Jackson shares his story of child abuse at the hands of his parents and also the damning statistics that identify that little has changed in the last fifty years. What Did I Do was published on July 4th and is a memoir that lifts the veil of secrecy about not just the American family but the Universal family.
The veil of secrecy over the American family prevails and the covertness of child abuse continues. According to the National Children’s Alliance, approximately 700,000 (683,000 in 2015) children are abused each year. Child Protective Service (CPS) reports they investigate 3.4 million children and place them under the care of the CPS. These are frightening statistics attesting that child abuse is not in decline, but rather the opposite.
Child abuse or child maltreatment is physical, sexual, or psychological mistreatment or neglect of a child or children. Have you ever suspected or even witnessed child abuse in public or in a home? If you did and did nothing, you are condoning the act and its effect on the child. Child advocacy groups are begging for the public involvement. Yet, little is being done.
What Did I Do? is Chuck Jackson’s true recollection of the abuse he received from both his parents. It is a story where he spent years struggling to please them without succeeding. It is a story where they told him he was irredeemable and unworthy of being their son. When he saw love and happiness in other families, he wondered why not his.
Chuck came out of the darkness to expound on the stigma attached to child abuse. He admitted to the affects of shame, anger, guilt, and depression that he and so many experience. He tells the story of survival where he felt invisible. Follow him where he sought a warm touch and a kind word of praise. Follow his desperation for love from anyone. Follow Chuck’s story and help answer his question, what did I do?
Two of the recent reviews.
This story is a remarkably sensitive account of how a young man who travels on his own personal journey of acceptance while dealing with his own parents’ prejudices and bigotry. Any person coming out of the closet and any parent dealing with a child who is different need to read this book.
Knowing the author and then reading his story is incredibly enriching. That anyone could go through what Chuck Jackson went through is a miracle in itself. It is a powerful and fascinating story that parents AND children of age should read. Abuse seems to seep from generation to generation and it destroys lives in the process. It has to stop. Books like “What Did I Do?” help immensely. I feel enriched that I have heard his story.
Read the reviews and buy the memoir: https://www.amazon.com/What-Did-I-Do-Memoir-ebook/dp/B073R2B3RK
Also by Chuck Jackson
Read all the reviews and buy both books: https://www.amazon.com/Chuck-Jackson/e/B01IX2PBEG
And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Chuck-Jackson/e/B01IX2PBEG
About Chuck Jackson
Chuck Jackson is a retired accountant living in South East Florida. He graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a BBA in Accounting. He spent the last 25 years of his career working as the Budget Manager for a Special District in Palm Beach County. He was a member of Government Finance Officer’s Association (GFOA) and Florida’s GFOA.
He is a two-time cancer survivor and draws his strength from his faith and church activity. He is his church’s Treasurer and serves on it’s Vestry.
Since his retirement, Chuck has spent his years studying and enhancing his love for writing. In June 2016, he released his first e-book: One Month, 20 Days, and a Wake Up. In July 2017 he released his second book: What Did I Do? that is available as an e-book and paperback. He continues to work on his memoir manuscript, in anticipation of releasing a third book in 2018.
Chuck is an avid golfer and a member of a local golf club. He is married to Anthony, his partner of 33-plus years. He has a daughter and a new grandson.
Connect to Chuck Jackson
Website Blog: http://www.chuckjacksonknowme.com/
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/105624026158453424361
Flipboard – https://flipboard.com/@ChuckJackso2017
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