Merry Christmas!

CHRISTMAS THOUGHT
By Jim Sanders

It was just before Christmas 
And all through my mind 
Not an idea was stirring 
Not even a rhyme. 

I thought and I thought 
Lord what could I say 
That would brighten some spirit 
On this Christmas day. 

We hear about Santa, 
His reindeer and elves, 
Of giving and getting 
Great gifts for ourselves. 

See colored light stringers 
On houses and trees, 
While strains of "White Christmas" 
Float by on a breeze. 

Hear church choirs on sleigh rides 
Sing "Oh Holy Night" 
And "Joy To The World" 
As they fade out of sight. 

We hear and we see 
All these beautiful things, 
So what could I say 
That would make any change? 

There is only on word 
I can humbly recite 
And that word is "Jesus" 
My Savior, my Light. 

So if you would lighten 
Your path on the way 
Let Jesus shine forth for 
a SPECIAL BIRTHDAY. 

MERRY CHRISTMAS! 

WINTER WEATHER 
By Don Perry 
God created winter just in case that eternity would be too brief. Winter is by far the longest of the four seasons, about a thousand days long by my reckoning. From December zo" to spring is an eternity in my book, wet and cold filled with slush and mud. Hunting season has by this time come and gone, leaving my reputation as the world's least productive hunter intact. Fishing season is but a mere dream of the new year and camping is now impossible, what with all the snow and mud.

As I stand and stare out the dinning room window, my wife tells me that I'm staring out the window again and I should get a hobby. I look over my shoulder and say "Staring out the window is my hobby. It's my winter hobby." This will undoubtedly be my second longest winter, overshadowed only by my seventeenth winter, when the world was nothing more than my bright oyster and my not knowing how to open it.

The weather turns grey, and I console myself with reading and staring out into the bleak twilight, as I watch the last leaves fall into the slush of last night's snow. Even the squirrel doesn't come to raid my bird feeders now. He's probably staring out his window on the world and thinking, "Too cold! Think I'll go into the hollow limb and grab a nut." Mrs. Squirrel probably tells him that he's staring out the knothole again.

CHRISTMAS MEMORIES
By Joanne Verbridge 

The excitement of Christmas was always contagious at my house. I grew up in a family of nine children, my mother, my dad, and his mother, my grandmother. There were twelve of us living in a tiny house. The cold weather outside always brought the spirit of Christmas. Anxiety could be felt with the approaching winter vacation and two weeks away from school. 

It was a time of excitement, as small packages started to appear under the tree. 

My mother drove a city bus for a company in Oakland, California. Her route would take her past a beautiful Christmas display. During our Christmas vacation, the family would load up in our expanded vehicle. I think then it was called a station wagon. My parents would take us to the city to share the animated scene. Before arriving to the city, we would take side streets to see the Christmas sights. The car was filled with so many, "Look at that one!" Then more, "ohh's and ahhs." Or once in a while, "I saw it first." 

After parking the car, we would walk to the prime piece of real estate that held the Christmas scene. The corner lot added so much dimension to the joyous scene inside. You could see things from different angles.
 
I will never forget the grandmother rocking in her chair, and with each stoke the cat lying by her chair would wag its tail. The chair would rock back and forth just barely miss its tail. Even though it wasn't real, I would watch waiting to see if the cat would misjudge her timing. Across the room, little children were playing, grandpa would be wiggling his eyebrows up and down, in amusement at all the things he saw. The mother was pulling the turkey out of the oven. Everything looked so real, that you were sure you could smell the turkey. It was a cozy setting, as we looked from the cold outdoors to the warmth presented inside. Every one should be able to experience the loving feeling that the animated family gave to the passersby. 

As for me, it's been many years since I have seen this, but I have to say I have never since any other scene that has compared to this one.  Thank you to that furniture store for giving so many people special memories of Christmas. 

Winter Time
By Mel Hutt
Our four seasons of the year end with the wintertime. My memories of the snowy Christmases and New Years are both good and not so good.
 
When our children were young we took them away from their Christmas celebration at home with their presents and haul them off to one of their Grandmothers homes for the dinner and afternoon. This we changed when our grandchildren came upon the scene. We went to their house and enjoyed them showing us their Christmas presents and enjoy a meal at their abode.
 
The winters of Central New York were real snowy and our kids had a great time in the snow banks and with their sleds. Their stays outdoors were interrupted when the cold hands were brought inside with the wet cloths to be dried and warmed. 

Our heating facilities at our house in Oneida were by an oil fired gravity fed furnace. One stormy day we ran out of fuel during a storm as our fuel delivery didn't make it to us and we ran out. Our good friend, who we appreciate to this day, made a trip to get a barrel full of oil for us and we rolled the barrel over the snow banks as our driveway was impassable from the deep snow. Needless to say, we changed our fuel sources.
 
Our winters in Virginia were quite different. Christmases were not so stormy as to prevent us from visiting our son and his family.
 
One time we did have such a severe snowstorm that all traffic stopped except me with my chained back wheels on my car I went where others could not. I missed three days of work, however, as the Norfolk area lacked the equipment to handle the deep snow on the streets.

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