The Christmas Spirit

Miles and Michael Williams.jpg

Story: Michael Williams

Government cheese is processed cheese that was provided to welfare and food stamp recipients in the United States from the 1960s through to the early 1990s. (The style of cheese predated the era, having been used in military kitchens since the Second World War and in schools since as early as the 1960s.)

How poor were we? We qualified for government cheese and I remember getting presents given to us by the National Guard, spam in a can and powdered eggs and milk in a box…Cleveland 1962.
Being a Jehovah’s Witness growing up was not the easiest thing at Christmas time or year round. You see we did not celebrate Christmas and survived so I don’t know what the fuss is about in the news now?

But it was a great time of year for us because of the vacation from school and the family gets together with Uncle Norris and Uncle Amos playing the blues on Sivertone amp and homemade guitars. Even though we did not celebrate the holiday, we lived in the spirit of it! By sharing with family and friends.

We did not eat at home for week. Aunt Massie’s house was always last and the Soul food was amazing. Then my mother took to her kitchen and the contest was on and not over till she created her masterpiece, cooking her legendary cake with the Coconut Butter Icing only in the middle of the night so no one could steal the family secret recipe. But when we got up the next morning there was always a piece gone? She would say she went to sleep and she heard the cake calling her to come and have a slice or two.

So I carried that tradition on to Canada with me, always cooking for friends and strangers in search of a great home-cooked meal and some family…sharing the spirit of the holiday and spreading it year round. In 1998, when Miles was born, we always organized the holiday around family and sharing, music, sliding down hills on tires and snow ball fights, not the commercial aspects. We cook together, his is specialty is Flying Fish.

He has always been encouraged to give his toys away and share from the heart. So I guess you can celebrate the spirit of Christmas without the holiday hoopla, religious aspects and all.

Would be nice if the spirit last all year long, like Peace on Earth, good will towards everyone!