Social and Political Commentary

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The charm of Christmas

... pondering the many holiday traditions

by Jackie Wattenberg

    It's difficult to resist the charm of Christmas ... those lovely Christmas
carols ... Rudolph the Red Nose a little tiring but jaunty and full of cheer for
children. All of the those beaming Santas welcoming children to their
bountiful laps and promising whatever mom whispers is what she has hidden
at home. The loyal, ever faithful Salvation Army bell ringers ever faithful to
the poor and lonely - toss in a few coins or dollar bills into his big high
hanging pot.
    Christmas cookies and traditional fruitcake that hardly anyone likes - but
we have grandmas secret recipe and we can't forget it. Mom always insists
that dad buys the biggest Christmas tree on the lot. Imagine! A gorgeous
tree right in your living room, glowing with romantic lights and shimmering
trimmings saved through the years - loyal Santas, silver bells, tiny cradles,
tinkling ballet dancers, the star atop the great tree - can daddy climb the
ladder to hang it way up there?
    A great turkey dinner - but maybe roast beef or ham instead, we can't be
too traditional. Still those delicious turkey wings! Pumpkin pie of course, and
mince pie for elderly Aunt Marie, it's her favorite. Turn on the radio, that
good music station for beautiful holiday songs ... A little of Bing Crosby is all
right but the Boston Symphony, too.
    Christmas cards, send them on time this year ... And place the beautiful
ones on the piano, or the living room table for all to  see ... Call cousin
Thelma now in an assisted living home, call those relatives who moved all
the way to California, poor things - no chance of snow!
    Go the church? Is there a church service on Christmas Day? Let's see ... or
drop in to help serve the holiday dinner for those without a home for a good
Christmas dinner planned by that fellow who runs a vacuum repair shop ...
or maybe something like that big Catholic Church ... let's see what the new
Pope is saying today, after sneaking off to visit the poorest in Rome.
    Let the children go outside as the first snow of the day starts to fall
softly, always soft, the snow ... always snow for Christmas in my hometown,
Buffalo, echoing thick traditional scenes on Christmas cards. And still the
lovely Christmas carols on the radio, maybe a fine chorus on TV ... recalling
Christmases past, childhood memories ... no mention of our young men still
almost celebrating Christmas on Iraq or Afghanistan.
    Let's hope and maybe pray for those still caught in one of our wars
...Wars? On Christmas Day? Across our country, mothers and fathers are
praying for peace and back home for their sons and brothers, husbands ...
because the message of Christmas is peace.
    The loveliest old carol of all, "Silent night, Holy night, All calm, All is
bright," always ending softly with, "Sleep in heavenly peace, Sleep in
heavenly peace."

    Reprinted with permission from the Melrose Free
Press January 01,2015..

    January 2, 2015

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