So it’s Christmas. Finally!
I know the children thought it would never come. And last night, instead of dreaming of sugar plums, most children went off to sleep listening for the sound of reindeer hoofs on the rooftop as Santa landed to deliver the items on their “want list.”
Those of you with small children in the house are the beneficiaries of Christmastime memories you will remember through the years, long after today’s children are tomorrow’s adults.
At our house, I’m happy to report that my true love did not surprise me with three French hens, two turtle doves or six geese a laying.
I’m in no mood to clean up after them. I’m happy enough with the beautiful bluebird that just landed on my windowsill. Ten feet away, a mourning dove that must believe that “cleanliness is next to Godliness” is bathing in the unheated water in the bird bath.
Besides, what would we do with six goose eggs a day?
“The Twelve Days of Christmas” has always been a favorite holiday poem/song.
One of my favorite gifts came without wrapping, ribbons or gift tag. It is an ongoing gift from Mother Nature and arrived a few days before Christmas.
It’s the lengthening of daylight, beginning Dec. 21.
By contrast, in Fairbanks, Alaska, on the 21st, the sun rose at 10:59 a.m. and set at 2:40 p.m.
So it’s not surprising that Alaska comes in second in the nation in the annual suicide rate, with 22 deaths per 100,000 residents, compared to North Carolina’s rate of 13 per 100,000, according to the latest figures from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
As you brave these wintry days, remember that each new dawn brings us a step nearer the rebirth of springtime.
A memorable Christmas
Every Christmas Day is a time when adults, while watching their youngsters or grandkids rip open the gift boxes, tend to travel back in time to a certain unforgettable Christmas.
My “unforgettable” Christmas occurred during World War II, when I found myself in the little Australian town of McKay.
After more than a year in the jungles of New Guinea and beyond, soldiers flown to McKay for a coveted week of R&R.
On Christmas Eve, the grateful townspeople entertained the visiting GIs, many of whom earlier helped abort Japan’s impending invasion of the “Down Under” country. The “Thank you” event consisted of speeches of gratitude followed by a street dance attended by swarms of pretty girls.
Late that night, the event was concluded with a sing-a-long. I wasn’t the only homesick soldier with tears sliding down his cheeks as we sang “White Christmas.” Looking up at the full moon and whispering to myself, “Merry Christmas, Mom,” I wondered if I would ever see her and home again.
This year, Santa surprised us all by stuffing the national stocking with an unorthodox President-elect!
It’s true that more than half the voters didn’t have billionaire Donald Trump on their “Dear Santa” wish list and are on this Christmas day glumly grousing, “No, Virginia, there ain’t no Santa Claus!”
No, you can’t take this “gift” back to the store and ask for a refund or a down payment on something else. It’s nonrefundable and guaranteed for four years.
The only thing I can prescribe for those of you with a post-election Christmas headache is to take two aspirins and lie down.
No! Don’t take the whole bottle! If Hillary can survive, so can you!
Speaking of gifts, my year-round gratitude goes out to each of you who, some for decades, have been giving me the gift of readership, turning to my place in the N&O each Sunday. Thanks also for your responses.