Monday, December 2, 2013
MONDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2013
One of the first holiday traditions Tricia and I celebrated together began not after we were married but while we were still students at the University of Georgia. Just before one holiday break we decided, along with my roommate Kirk, to attend the Atlanta Ballet performance of "The Nutcracker" at the fabulous Fox Theater. The nighttime skyline of Atlanta is a beautiful sight and a trip to the Fox has always been a treat for me. As I sat back in my chair, my eyes wandered upward to the ceiling with its artificial stars twinkling in a night sky and my imagination transported me around the world to an exotic destination in Morocco. As the ballet began, my mind drifted to a snowy street in Vienna awaiting Clara's magical trip around the world.
As years went on, our plans expanded. Once after a "Nutcracker" performance, we found ourselves at that most venerable place, the Krispy Kreme on Ponce de Leon Avenue, stuffing ourselves with freshly made doughnuts. Soon graduation was upon us as well as Kirk's marriage and move to Savannah with his new wife. About this time, Tricia and I were married and were settled in to our first jobs in Athens. Putting down roots so close to Atlanta, we were able to continue going to the Fox. By now our traditional trip expanded to spending the afternoon before the ballet enjoying "Christmas at Callanwolde." Callanwolde is the beautiful Tudor mansion built by Coca Cola heir Charles Candler in 1924. Wandering through the rooms beautifully decorated for the season added to the magic of our tradition.
Sadly, however, our Callanwolde-"Nutcracker"-Krispy Kreme tradition faded away soon after we left Athens for Savannah. I remember how strange it felt the first year, as if a piece of us had left. But time and distance as well as new traditions formed in Savannah have eased that sadness.
I think back to those years with great fondness. We were young and experiencing many of life's events for the first time. It seemed as if we were on a wonderful journey waiting for life's next adventure. All the while Tricia and I had each other and were blessed with dear friends and family. What made our tradition special was not so much what we did but rather what we did together.
During this season let us remind ourselves of who we journey with as we await the advent of our Lord. As old traditions fade and new ones begin, may the joy of what was, and is, and is to be, be our constant companion.
- Doug Craig