Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Christmas's True Meaning

Rather than upstage the many other artricles about Christmas,
I share with you a few excerpts from a local journalist's writing
in December 2014...experiences published by Paul Benedetti:

The Good, the Bad and the Delicious of the Holiday Season

Everything, it seems, comes in twelves at Christmas time.
The 'Twelve Days of Christmas' ...the 12 people you are forced to invite for dinner...the 12 pounds you put on between now and New Year's Eve...and the same 12 CDs you play over and over, until someone screams, “Make it Stop! Make it Stop!” and falls on the floor thrashing around. (OK, that last one is me and it usually happens right after the 147th hearing of Burl Ives, 'Holly Jolly Christmas')

Let's face it: the Christmas season is a mix of good...and well, not-so-good-things. So, along with your list of To-Dos, your gift list and your Christmas Dinner grocery's my list: (Good and Bad) Things About Christmas.

Driving to the Mall and circling around the lot for about 20 minutes trying to find an open spot...and then finding one and getting into an altercation with the guy who drives up at the last second...and steals the spot...and then driving around some more...and then banging on the dashboard hysterically and driving home!

Eggnog: Super fattening. And delicious!

The Dreaded Christmas Office Party: Being forced to chat with Manny, the office weasel who always eats with his mouth open? Listening to Eleanor complain, only now, she's wearing an elf hat? Having drinks with your manager who just announced that 'downsizing' starts in January? I'd rather have the flu!

Receiving the rare...Real Christmas Cards in the Mail: Old-fashioned cards with a winter scene on the front and a hand-written message inside. They're like missives from the past...vestiges of a time before mail and texting...when the slow-flow of handwriting made people pause and think about what they wanted to say. I especially like the card I get from my pal, Wayne who, each year, turns a photograph he's taken into a hand-made card and then gets his wife,who has better penmanship, to scribe a lovely note. It sits on our mantel...a lonely reminder of Christmas before the Internet!

The Italian Christmas Eve Feast of the Seven Fishes: My wife says it makes the house smell for seven days...but who cares?

The Dreaded “Christmas Family Update Letter:” OK, your daughter got into were promoted to vice-president...your golf holiday in January was perfect...and your dog just got inducted into Mensa. It just wouln't be Christmas without hearing about your money...your gifted kids...and your perfect life. I'd love to write back, but I've got to go to the Food Bank...get my car out of repo (again)...and, oh yeah, my motorhome is on fire!

Waking Up Christmas Morning and having panettone with coffee and Baileys. Super fattening. And really delicous!

Buying a $20 Environmentally Friendly Christmas Tree at Ikea...and getting a $20 coupon back! Made getting in and out of the parking lot worth it!

Finding a $100 Gift Card in the last year's wrapping paper box that expired two months ago!

Mashed Rutabaga: Mashed parsnips...Mashed turnip. Not even babies will eat it!

Leaving a Bottle of Wine for the mailman because he makes it to your door everyday, rain or sleet or snow...and he's always smiling!

Driving to Niagara Falls with my brothers to attend the arranged Christmas Party for my developmentally delayed cousin, Julia Mary. It was held in an old firehall...and the staff of their group made a full Christmas dinner...including turkey, stuffing and all the trimmings. Julia, who is now in her late 40's, was there with her three roommates as well as a handful of other residents and their families. We had non-alcoholic punch...ate our dinner...sang Christmas carols (badly, yet nobody cared)...and waited for Santa to arrive. The residents, no matter what their ages, retain a child-like excitement about Christmas...and they erupted in squeals and cheers when Santa arrived. They got their presents...we danced around the room in a congo line and the “kids” loved every minute of it.

The next day my brother wrote me an email that said,
“It was a wonderful evening...the true meaning of Christmas!”
He's Right!

* * * * * * * * * * * *

The story of “White Christmas” is undoubtedly the most famous and popular Christmas song. Music and lyrics for it were written by Irving Berlin in 1942, originally featured in the movie starring Bing Crosby. The lyrics of White Christmas struck a chord with the soldiers fighting in WWII and their families waiting for them back home.
I'm dreaming of a White Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know...
Where the tree tops glisten and children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow.

I'm dreaming of a White Christmas.
With every Christmas card I write:
May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases be bright!”

To all my readers, I sincerely wish Merry Christmas
and for 2017, a Happy and Healthy New Year.

Merle Baird-Kerr...December 20, 2016
Comments appreciated: merlebairdkerr@cogeco or

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