19326861-jpg

CARL WHITE


OK, it’s true, I like Christmas.

Why in the world would I produce Christmas programming year after year if I did not think highly of this time of the year?

It seems as if every year I discover something new and exciting about the Christmas season. To tell the truth, I had planned on doing something straightforward and easy for our programming this year, but instead it has become the most ambitious year to date.

The holiday season is always busy and emotional. However, this year things seemed to be even more so. This feeling might be because I am talking with more people than normal because of the increased production schedule.

When I asked a man in the Christmas event business if he loved Christmas, he said, “Well, I am starting to again.” He then told me when he was a young man his father died on Christmas Day and for many years Christmas carried the memory and pain of the loss of his father.

He said it was the love that his wife has for Christmas that helped him find his way back. It happened slowly he said, but more happy memories are stacking up.

At a Christmas party, I was talking with a lady who owns an antique shop that turns into a bit of a winter wonderland for November and December. She had a woman with her that helps in the story from time to time.

The lady who helps in the store told me that she was more of a fixer. She seldom buys anything new but rather she gets Christmas things that were broken, and she fixes them.

She pays little and at times nothing at all. She restores the broken or damaged items and makes them new in her way. So, her home is now filled with beautiful Christmas décor that she has made her own.

The party we were at was at the home of avid Christmas décor collectors. To be clear, this was a special invitation to experience a 4-hour Christmas party that featured 174 decorated Christmas trees of all sizes and all the food and beverage you care to consume.

I found myself in awe of all the things to look at. I see a lot of Christmas displays but never had I seen so much in a private home. It was incredible. I ask how long the collection had been growing and was surprised to learn it had only been 10 years. The inspiration for going big for Christmas started with a neighbor who went all out with Christmas decoration.

The collecting of Christmas decorations started then, and the collection grows every year. It takes a few months to get all the trees set up. And it’s all for the love of the Christmas season, family and a few hundred guest who patiently await an annual invitation.

I know someone in Pageland that has more than 7,000 Santas, and I know a family in Pilot Mountain, North Carolina that is retiring after 50 years of hosting an annual Christmas display private attraction that had become a traditional family event for thousands.

The Christmas season also provides us the emotional ups and downs of a good-sized roller coaster, but it is also a time of high hopes and compassion. It is this time of the year that we do more for others, and we feel good about it.

At times, we spend too much, we eat too much and we stress too much, however, with a bit of discipline most of these things can all workout.

Just like the lady who gives new life to a broken Christmas angel, the power of love and kindness can mend our brokenness and help us see and enjoy the wonderment of Christmas and each other.

While at times we may be banged up, depressed and temporally unpleasant, the power and love of Christmas are just fine and active.

Carl White is the executive producer and host of the award winning syndicated TV show “Carl White’s Life In the Carolinas.” The weekly show is in its seventh year of syndication and can be seen in the Greenville, Spartanburg viewing market on WLOS ABC 5 a.m. Saturdays and 1:30 p.m. Sundays at WMYA My 40. Visit www.lifeinthecarolinas.com, email White at Carl@lifeinthecarolinas.com.