Sunday, December 23, 2007


As A Very Small Child, Some Of My Best Christmas Memories ...

go back to Wichita Falls, TX. Christmas was a very special time, especially for us kids. I remember pouring over the pages of the Sears or J.C. Penney's wish books trying to find the presents I wanted Santa to bring. I remember the Christmas tree and grandparents coming to visit. Waking up with my sister before the crack of dawn to see what Santa had brought was great fun. One of the highlights of the Christmas season each year was riding in the car with my sister and parents at night as we went downtown to the Burns mansion to see a multitude of animated Christmas displays. There were numerous displays all brightly lit with animated Santa Clauses, elves, snowmen, reindeer and wonderful things beyond description. There were robots and rocket ships and carriages and Santa's workshop, Mrs. Clause, with Christmas music playing in the background. All of this was on the grounds of the Burns mansion. The huge home was also decorated for Christmas with lights, wreaths and a large tree gracing the picture window. I remember sitting in a long line of traffic, listening to Christmas music on the car radio, AM no doubt and waiting peering out the car window for the first glimpse of the Fantasy of lights. We would circle the block and then my sister and I would get out and walk among all of the displays. I think Santa's workshop was my favorite display. I remember one where Santa was sitting in a rocking chair gently rocking while he soaked his tired feet in an old metal washtub full of hot water no doubt. Be sure to check out the website here to read about the history of this great exhibit. Sadly like all good things, our annual pilgrimage ended after the fourth grade when we moved to Fort Worth. Not long after Mrs. Burns died and for a few years the wonderful display died with her. Then through private donations and volunteers, the display was resurrected on the campus of Midwestern State University. Back in the mid nineties, Dudley and Dudley's wife and Dudley's two small children drove up to Wichita Falls and saw the display. Dudley's kids loved it. I enjoyed the display to be certain but it was not as I had remembered it. It was just not the same. Time marches on and life goes on and it is true you really can not go back. But the memories live on. Merry Christmas.

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