Perhaps the sense of community pride is at its greatest during the Christmas season.
The fond, tender memories of all the Christmases past wash over us. There were the rituals of how and where we took the kids to see Santa. These are traditions Moms and Dads and the kids remember decades later.
We remember driving around seeing the community displays of lights and which homes had the best lights.
The community pride comes from what our Churches did to make the season special. It’s recalling the annual events they held every year. It’s about the special events other community organizations held each year. All of these moments weave together in our minds a strong sense of community pride and a fondness for the people of our community.
It’s about the events and concerts the schools hold each December. The students who play in them, the parents who beam with pride, and as a generation turns who were once the students become the parents.
All of these events, happenings, family rituals and remembrances are a large part of the pride of a town like St. James.
These are many of the ties that bind us to our community. The type of pride we feel is the pride felt by all Americans.
No better example of this unique sense of pride and fondness for our home towns happened around the release of Bing Crosby’s White Christmas in 1942. Can you imagine being a Marine in the South Pacific in 1942 and hearing that song over the armed forces radio? Prehaps more than any other song it is a song that connects each listener to his or her home town.
To paraphrase from ‘The Field of Dreams’, this special season reminds us of all that once was good.
It is a season that despite tragedies intruding on us from the outside or setbacks we may experience remains good for us now. The Christmas season holds the promise of remaining good for us in the future.