The least significant event of December? My birthday! Having a birthday, Dec. 30, which is wedged between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, taught me humility at a young age. Other kids, the ones born from February to November may have been persuaded that their birthday was the biggest deal of the month, but not us December kids! No sir! That “other” December birthday, the one on Dec. 25, is such a big deal that the whole world starts looking forward to it right after Thanksgiving. My birthday comes five days later, when people were pretty tapped out from Christmas. Even so, as a young child I had high hopes!

As a youngster at an age of limited but dawning awareness, I realized my folks were planning a really big party to take place a few days after Christmas! They were buying party hats and noisemakers and bottles of something called champagne, bottles that I found impossible to open. Surely all this preparation was for me, for my birthday, so I explained to my mom that I would rather have Coca-Cola or Kool-Aid than champagne. Imagine my surprise and disappointment when momma told me that all this decoration and preparation was not for my birthday, or for any other “person’s” birthday, but rather this party was to celebrate the arrival of a new year! And it was such a big deal that adults would stay up until midnight to greet the New Year, but no kids were allowed! Now that was just wrong! So, I stayed up and snuck out of my bedroom and, from behind the upstairs banisters, I spied on this party. I’m not sure I made it till midnight but I saw enough to realize that mom and dad liked champagne better than Kool-Aid, and it was obvious that they thought this party was way more fun than my birthday party! I mean, nobody kissed like that or danced like that at my birthday party!

No, my childhood birthdays, just “normal” celebrations, paled in comparison to these other December events. I’m not sure if it was a youthful acquisition of humility or the trauma of an early-onset inferiority complex, but every year when December would roll around, I knew mine would not be the biggest party, and over time I came to accept that. After all is said and done, if folks would rather celebrate spiritual redemption and heavenly forgiveness, and then celebrate the good fortune of annual survival and renewal, I can live with that. I’m totally OK with my place in the December universe because, after all, I am in excellent company, and I’ve discovered that December is big enough for all of us! Happy birthday, December people!

A lot of us have roots or ties to Suwannee County. Eric Musgrove, Suwannee County historian, will present a new monthly series on the History of Suwannee County on the second Thursday of the month at noon. The series will kickoff Thursday, Jan. 9, from noon to 1 p.m. at the Suwannee River Regional Library in Live Oak with an overview of Suwannee County history. This series has been updated with new topics.

Also at the Live Oak Library on Jan. 9, at 6 p.m., “You're in the Army Now: 18th Century Military Life Presentation.” Join us as Mark and Sally Crosby share about life during the Revolutionary War, as seen from the view of a common soldier. We will learn about military camp life and a soldier’s family life. Our living history presenters will be dressed in Revolutionary War attire. You won’t want to miss this exciting and educational presentation.

I love writing this column but I always appreciate your help! Let me hear from you. I am thankful that we can depend on each other, and I hope that we can continue to feel proud of who we are and where we’re headed, and that we all appreciate how White Springs and its surrounding region is a very special place, to be honored and protected. As always, I look forward to seeing you out and about, giving, finding opportunities and enjoying your community and your life in White Springs.

Walter McKenzie

386-303-1394

lifeinwhitesprings@gmail.com

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