Planting My Roots: The price of Christmas | Rocket Miner | wyomingnews.com – Wyoming Tribune

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Planting My Roots

Planting My Roots
As we get deeper and deeper into the Christmas season, things always seem to feel busy and rushed.
You have to make sure you mark off all the names on the list of people you need to buy gifts for.
Maybe you spend hours decorating your home to make it look like it came right out of a Hallmark Christmas movie.
I myself thoroughly enjoy everything that comes with this time of year. However, I think it’s important to remember that Christmas doesn’t have to come with a price tag.
Of course, giving and receiving gifts is definitely something to enjoy. But I don’t think it’s a bad thing to reminisce about the days when Christmas wasn’t so commercialized.
My grandmother, Margie Lee Phillips, grew up in a drastically different time than I did.
Born in 1923, she grew up during the Great Depression.
For her, Christmas as a child definitely did not look like it does today.
Grandma Margie grew up in a small, rural Louisiana farming community and in a really poor family.
She always said that they had enough to get by but never had anything extra.
In fact, they didn’t even live in a home with electricity until she was a young adult.
I remember her telling me stories of how they were just grateful to get a piece of fruit for Christmas.
When they were available, her and her siblings found fresh oranges in their stockings.
“We were so happy and proud to each get an orange of our own as a present on Christmas morning,” my grandma would tell me as she relived those childhood memories.
There was a small store in the community that she grew up in where everyone bought what they needed. Each Christmas, when they were cheap enough, the store owner would try to buy enough bananas to make banana pudding for everyone in their small community.
Grandma Margie said this was always a welcomed surprise when it happened because for some of the kids in the community, this was the only Christmas “present” they would get.
One of the stories she would tell me has always seemed to stick out from the rest.
During one of the Christmas seasons when she was a young child, her two older brothers worked jobs in order to make enough money to buy two plastic rings from the local dime store for her and her younger sister.
She said that it felt like they had won the lottery receiving these shiny, plastic rings on Christmas morning.
Having her tell me these stories growing up never seemed to hit home as much as they do now that I am an adult.
Hearing her tell me how much these rings meant to them really makes all of those silly worries and stresses seem much less important.
Now 98 years old, I am very blessed to still have my grandma. When I go home this Christmas, I think I will appreciate getting to see her even more.
I think we can all take a lesson from Grandma Margie this Christmas and not focus on all of the gift buying, decorating or even receiving gifts.
Christmas doesn’t have to be extravagant to be enjoyed. Like most situations in life, what matters most is being present and appreciating the small things.
Caroline Phillips is a reporter for the Rocket Miner Newspaper. She can be reached at cphillips@rocketminer.com.
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Lisa Romero and Hannah Romero – Honorable Mention for Outdoors/Environmental Reporting

Wesley Magagna – Newsworthy Stories
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