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McCoy: Christmas memories during summer
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Georgia is in the middle of another spectacular summer, and I need some winter therapy to dispel the heat of the day. I need to feel cold air blowing across my face. I need to envision snow and ice and sweaters and mittens. I need hope that the Arctic air is coming and summer's insects will soon be freezing in their burrows.

So, I'll write about Christmas while we're still in summer. There's great comfort in recalling a festive winter season while it's sweltering outside. Christmas holds amazing memories for me, and I need those right now - those cooling memories of the past.

It's ironic that my strongest memories of Christmas are of commerce and trees and presents and tradition. Christmas is a holy and ethereal time of year, yet my mind floods with the earthly scents of balsam needles, pies, turkey, and fires in the fireplace. And I recall the scent of the cold air. Cold air smells crisp and bright; it enhances the other scents of the season.

And it heightens the senses.

I can still see the electric lights we wound around our trees - large, colored bulbs with plastic reflectors shaped like stars that dangled from the green wires, twisted and tangled from the closet. I remember staring at the bulbs on our fresh green tree, and I remember dreaming of Christmas Eve as the cold nights closed in on us. I still see the cool glow of Christmases from long ago.

I remember the desire and anticipation I felt at Christmas. I'd sit by the fireplace and imagine chemistry sets and walkie talkies under the tree. And it could be cold and rainy outside, but no one cared.

When we did go out, we saw Christmas lights on houses, and we saw the spectacles on display at the Atlanta stores.
We saw aluminum trees bathed in light as the rotating color wheels blazed hue after hue on their needles. We inhaled the delicious aroma at each department store candy counter, and we stood in awe of the ceiling high shelves of toys that were beyond our reach but not beyond our dreams.

And now I'm cold.

Maybe it's the air conditioning here in the house; maybe it's a temporary weather shift.

Or maybe I'm just celebrating an early Christmas in the middle of another spectacular Georgia summer, lost in a snowstorm of memories.


David McCoy, a notorious storyteller and proud Yellow Jacket, lives in Covington and can be reached at