Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Stories.

Christmas Eve. Always loved it. My two favorite Christmas Eves. One was selfish. One was the true meaning of Christmas.

The first story is about the ultimate Christmas Gift for a seven year-old. We always celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve. That is when Santa came. The first story takes place in Pocatello, Idaho. We always had big celebrations. My aunt and uncle and their family always joined us. Neighbors also. We usually had fifteen to twenty for dinner. After dinner kids were sent to their rooms to wait for Santa. There would be bells and ho ho hos. We came out of our rooms and there under the Christmas Tree would be a lot of gifts. Us young kids would hand out the loot. As each present under the tree disappeared there was nary a gift for me. As I was wondering what bad deed that I had done that year to be ignored by the jolly old fellow the doorbell rang. Dad said "Bill, that is for you." I opened up the front door and looked through the softly falling snow to see a little Shetland pony tied to the tree in the front yard. Dolly and I would become the best of friends. We would share many fun moments. I was big stuff when I road the pony to school for show and tell. I also felt pretty darn independent when I thought I was adopted and would run away from home to my grandparents. Dad would come get me, Dolly would jump into the back of his truck, and we would return home.

The next story is the true meaning of Christmas. It takes place in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Again my aunt and uncle and their family joined us as did neighbors. There was an air force base in Klamath Falls. Again we had fifteen to twenty for dinner. What is a couple of more? We lived on the corner of Alameda and Highway 97. Our house was the last house on the way out of town going North. Again it was snowing that night. We were getting ready to sit down for dinner when Mom looked out the front window. Standing on the Highway hitchhiking were two Air Force men. Mom just couldn't stand it. She went out and invited the two Air Force men in for dinner. They accepted. After dinner each one of us kids gave them one of our presents (Mom guided us on which ones to give them) and then dad took them to the bus depot. He paid for their fares home. We heard from the two young men for several years after that. That was the true meaning of Christmas.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas Eve Day and a stunning Christmas Day. Today will be a day of love, cooking, eating, presents, presence, family, and watching my Mom in her element. Admiring her family. I always go to church on Christmas Eve and every year I take this though home with me:

Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me
Let there be peace on earth
A peace that was meant to be.
With God as our Father,
Brothers & Sisters all are we.
Let us live with each other
In peace and harmony.
Let peace begin with me,
Let this be the moment now.
With every breath that I take,
Let this be my solemn vow...
To take each moment
And live each moment
In peace and harmony.
Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me.

Sy Miller
Jill Jackson


Sister and yours truly at Christmas.

My favorite Christmas gift:

The dinner table.

From left to right Aunt Velma, Grandma Goldy,  Cousin Debbie (may she rest in peace), my sister's hair, my sister's boyfriend (Paul Thomas), me being lovely held by my Uncle Frank, Mom,  brother Grover, Grandpa Goldy, cousin Dixie, and Cousin Denny. Dad took the picture.


dona said...

I have always loved Christmas Eves also. I just love the winter season and especially the snow.

I love your stories, I think you surely miss Dolly. You and your family sound just wonderfully close to me. Wish there were more in the world as you.

Thanks for the stories, news, and especially the pictures of your family you have shared with us all year.

Have a wonderful Christmas with your mom and family tomorrow. I am thinking of you all here, while I am baking 2 batches of Zucchini Bread, 10 dozen cookies, and some Easy Cheesy Lemon Bars.

Merry Christmas.

Lady DR said...

Wishing you the happiest of Christmas Eves, Bill, especially since you'll now be a large group for the celebrations. Our family has traditionally celebrated on Christmas Day, as we still do, because you have to "jump in bed and cover up your head" while Santa comes during the night. As kids, we did get to open one gift on Christmas Eve, a bribe to get us to Go To Bed! Soon, when I know Himself is occupied, I'll take his gifts down to put under the tree, since I was afraid he might guess what they are, if they were down earlier to be rattled and shook and explored (yeah, he's a big kid at times).

Thank you for sharing the stories about your Christmas Eves, the one about Dolly and especially the one about the two AF men. The only "special" thing we did on Christmas Eve was go to midnight candlelight services, which nowadays are held early in the evening.

We'll have a quiet evening, Himself fixing ribs and me doing the trimmings and maybe preparing some of tomorrow's Christmas dinner ahead of time. Tomorrow I'll bake the pumpkin pie in the morning, we'll do gifts and have our big meal and hopefully talk with all the sibs and maybe even Mom. It will be a very different Christmas for all of us, but surrounded with love, one way or another.

Peace on Earth is one of, if not my most favorite Songs, for any time of year. It was my opening ode the year I was Worthy Matron in Eastern Star.

Wishing all of you a Merry Christmas!

William J. said...


I love Christmas Eve but the snow not so much and the ice sends shivers up and down my spine.

I do miss Dolly. The highlight of my life. And I wish there were more in the world like you and The Shankster.

Well, shoot you would certainly be welcome at our dinner table if you brought the loot. The bread, the cookies, etc.


William J. said...


It was a great Christmas Eve but mom did get tired. The dinner did turn our great. For some reason we always did Christmas on Christmas Eve. I love the picture of the children in bed covering up their heads. I love that you make such an effort to keep the gifts a surprise for Himself! Lucky man.
And I love that he still has a little kid in him at times.

A quiet evening and ribs sounds lovely to me. I really hope you get to talk to everyone especially your Mom. Love is what makes any holiday special.

I think we should sing Peace on Earth every Sunday.