The vintage colourful lights strung over the city Main Street in the shape of festive familiarity.
Our family car, a 66 Mercury (Merc, as my dad would call it), malibu blue in colour, was our chariot for this coveted annual event my little heart looked forward to every year.
It was 1974.
The classic landmark Hudson’s Bay Company dazzled with all that Christmas was in the 1970s.
Multicolored vintage lights dazzled the scenes of Christmas trains, walking dolls and more, surrounded by trees adorned with silver tinsel and streams of vintage coloured round baubles and teardrop decorations.
It was nothing short of magical.
Each string of lights and treble cleft shaped Christmas architecture, passed by my view from the frosted back window as I sat snuggled and tucked between my grandpa and grandma. It was my favourite place to be in the whole wide world.
All was well in my young heart in that spot in that moment.
My homemade burgundy, pretend fur coat, made lovingly by my mom, hugged me in all the right spots as we travelled along in the warmth of the 66 Merc as my mom always preferred it to be.
The winter snow fell gently to the ground outside our window. It was a picture I would hold deep in my heart for many years to come.
The evening Christmas crowds bustled along in between the high banks of snow.
“Go Tell it On The Mountain” and “Children Go Where I send Thee” crooned out the front from my dad’s coveted collection of 8-track tapes, clicking after each track was done.
I felt safe and secure as my dad sat confidently in the driver’s seat, arm perched on the side of the door, three fingers casually directing the wheel in any direction we wanted to go. Many years of experience had brought him to this point.
My little heart trusted completely.
My mom clasped her black, plastic oversized purse with a single silver metal clasp and 2 rounded straps as she sat comfortably in the passenger seat. This too was a night out she looked forward to all year as the many years of the 70s were filled with being a stay-at-home mom… baking, cooking, cleaning, gardening, and chauffeuring to a young family.
Though her heart had already experienced more Christmases than mine, my little heart could say for today… this night… our hearts were both young in the season of Wonder.
And then as if this evening of Christmas lights and the wonders of the Hudson Bay display wasn’t enough, my heart anticipated the next part of the Christmas evening journey to Woolco.. THE store of those years.
Making my way past the display cases of jewellery greeting us as I stumbled through the doors in excitement, I couldn’t wait to make my way to the back of the store, where perched at the diner, we would order perhaps cherry pie or crispy fries as the treat of the night.
It was almost beyond what my little heart could handle.
My mouth watered incessantly with every step taken in my seventies winter lace-up boots, pointed down the main aisle to the back of the “big city store” towards the diner.
It would be a wonderful end to a wonderful evening with some of whom I loved so dearly, enjoying that which was so dear to my heart.
Now almost 50 years later, my mind can enjoy this special memory. It was a season in time to be enjoyed, but it all ultimately came to an end only to live in my memories… Although beautiful memories.
The same grandmother who sat with me so securely and safely in the backseat of that 66 Merc so many years ago, would introduce me to Randy Travis’s “Forever and Ever Amen” a decade later.
This song has taken on a meaning deep in my soul as I interpret it. My mind can only imagine what a day that will be when I will enjoy an even more glorious life with all those so dear to me, now waiting for me in Heaven when we won’t ever have to live on memories again.
Most of those enjoying that coveted evening in 1974 have gone on to eternity now…on their journey of experiencing forever and ever…
All we experience will come around again and again and again. How incredible! If life has been less than wished-for or perhaps only the memories remain… take heart!
Get your hopes up!
Get excited for forever!!
Forever loving those you have missed for too long!!
Our God is the ultimate forever memory maker in the land of no tomorrow’s.
So I say again take heart!
And look forward to…
Forever… and ever… Amen❤️