Category Archives: Christmas

Jackie Fender says Bah Humbug

JacksI’d like to make believe I’m roasting chestnuts by an open fire awaiting the time this evening I gather with my festive friends to sing carols around town to brighten holiday spirits but this is not the case. Instead I am dreading embarking on the final leg of my holiday journey which includes scooping up the last items on my little one’s wish lists surrounded by hordes of fellow procrastinators. And that is then followed by an all-nighter of caffeine and wrapping paper catastrophes.

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Lights by Joshua Swainston

Joshua Head Shot“Lights.” My son raises his voice from the backseat every time we drive near a holiday decorated home. “Dad. Lights.”

“Okay,” I exaggerate the response to make it seem as if I’m doing him a favor by turning the vehicle around. We are equally excited, him and I. His mother, my wife, is at home enjoying a much needed kid-free break from the holiday season. I find the next street to turn around. It is Christmas, and for a few weeks surrounding, a nighttime drive is dotted with nuggets of brightly lit beacons illuminating the otherwise unimpressive neighborhoods like the star of the east.

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Merry Christmas from William Turbyfill

10565770_10154490820925624_53728410_nThroughout history and across different cultures, nations and peoples, the bleak midwinter has been a time for celebrations. It doesn’t matter if it’s Christian, Jewish, Pagan or secular, the darkest and coldest parts of the year are full of food, drink and dance. December in particular is lousy with holidays where revelry is expected.

At first glance this seems odd. Springtime is where the fun’s at. It’s warm, it’s bright; and plants, animals, and people are making baby plants, animals and people. True, springtime holds its share of celebrations but nothing compared what happens when the days get shorter and the nights grow longer; where people have little to do but sit around and try to stay warm. But therein lies the beauty.

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A Backwoods Christmas By Titus Burley

catandhatPoppa spit chaw into his little Sanka can and told ma and the two progeny, “Put your thermals on. We gonna trek to the woods and haul back our Christmas tree.”

Momma rubbed the breading for the okra off her fingers and sniffed them once before wiping them clean on her checkerboard patterned apron. “Snow likely by evening. You sure ’bout this?”

“Might’s well.”

Daughter Amy smiled a big gap tooth grin. “Let’s get the best one, Daddy. Missus Merton letting us make ornments during free time.”

“Dress like you mean it,” reminded Ma. “If the squall comes early, lil’ brother gonna have a hard time keeping up.” Lil brother was Malcolm, called simple by those who loved him and half-wit by the crueler town folk.

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Buckminster Holiday Letter by Jennevieve Schlemmer

JennevieveWell, happy holidays everyone! Another year has flown by and it is time for the holiday letter from the Buckminster household!

First of all, we who chose to live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, earthquake capitol of the world, are thankful to have gone another year without the “BIG ONE” striking. I know the Lord is looking out for us here but Tom convinced me it was time we put together an earthquake preparedness kit just in case. Better to have a little extra insurance. With the new Republican Congress assembling in January, who knows what plagues might come upon us? Remember, He helps those that help themselves!

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Ribbon Candy by Ellen Miffitt

EllenThe satin luster of ribbon candy resembles the reflections from the Christmas tree lights on colorful glass ornaments; it’s not clear enough to actually reflect anything but the surface gives the illusion. My grandmother always had a pressed-glass bowl of ribbon candy set out for the Christmas holiday. I don’t remember her having a tree those last few Christmases but the overflowing bowl of ribbons was a tradition during the holiday. As a teenager no one else I knew set out a bowl of ribbon candy for their guests; candy canes, mints, mixed nuts or a box of chocolates replaced the fragile old fashioned treat that had a propensity to get sticky with moist air. The intricate patterns of colored sugar were fascinating as they wove the length of the candy. How did they make it loop back and forth so precisely?

The McNeill family had grown so large that no one had a house big enough to hold everyone for the Christmas Day gathering so a small church hall was rented. My oldest aunt was twenty years older than my mother and her children were close in age to my Mom. Each of the oldest aunts had five children each; the older of my first cousins were married and had children while some cousins brought their dates to the dinner…

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Season’s Greetings by Michelle Nikisch

Michelle 2“Season’s greetings!” A commonly heard phrase this time of year. The holiday season seemingly starting in summertime. Store shelves stocked with Santa-themed silliness earlier than the 4th of July is underway.

“Season’s greetings!” Season of life, season of year, seasoning for a good savory stew. Joni Mitchell pops into my head, “And the seasons they go round and round…we’re captive on the carousel of time.” For me, greeting the seasons is starting to take on wider meaning, not just a holiday greeting, but an invitation to look at the seasons of life, the beginnings and endings, the natural cycles. As a mother, my own children’s beginnings and endings are often my main focus. Their pictures with Santa from the previous year bring their astonishing growth into glaring view.

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