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Thread: Christmas Column

  1. #1

    Christmas Column

    Christmas is almost here. All the signs are there. Retailers now rush Halloween in and out so quick you wonder why we take the time. Thanksgiving gets treated almost as badly.
    No, it's Christmas that gets top billing. And resist it as we may we all end up those last two or three days before the big day falling in love again with the notion and the magic and the idea of giving. Even the oldest among us reverts to childlike fascination.

    I was lying in bed a few nights back mulling over the same seasonal thoughts my mind pulls up each year about this time. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve I catch glimpses of "It's a Wonderful Life" and the "Grinch" and "Snoopy" and those old claymation "Rudolph, the Red-nosed Reindeer" movies.

    I think about my dad and my grandfathers. I remember the old Christmases at my grandmother's in her big old house.

    I can still see rooms full of toys and shredded wrapping paper. Fake trees from Sears, Roebuck and Co., and real trees with a sweet green cedar aroma and prickly little needles.

    Our parents used to load us up in the car, and we'd cruise the local neighborhoods at night just marveling at the colored lights in the trees in the house windows. The downtown area would be garnished in big green cellophane wreaths and colored lights up on the utility poles.

    Every little town would have a parade with marching bands and chicken wire and crepe paper floats towed by John Deere tractors and beauty queens sitting in convertibles. Pulling up the rear of every parade, for obvious reasons, were the horses and a big old red fire truck with an overly padded, red-faced Santa Claus.

    I remember making lists and scanning through the catalogs circling toys with crayons. I remember the anticipation of it all. The way even grownups got excited and happy.

    Maybe that's just the way kids see things. Maybe I'm just an overly optimistic person - who knows for sure.

    As I get older the music really takes me back. It spawns memories in me and gets me kind of misty-eyed from time to time. Classic stuff by Bing Crosby and Perry Como and Elvis sends chills down my spine.

    I've never had a white Christmas. Not unless you can count the artificial snow you spray out of the aerosol cans onto your plate glass windows and Christmas trees. That stuff isn't easy to clean off, either. It was banned at our house after the 1973 Christmas. We still had snow in the corners of our windows that next summer.

    Seems like those old days were just dreams sometimes. They kind of just get lumped into one big fond colorful memory.

    The glitz and the gifts kind of tune out the real hidden meaning that makes Christmas so special for all of us. It's not the wonderful stories of Scrooge and Tiny Tim Cratchet or the glorious music of Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker." It's not the bonus checks or the bowl games or the holiday parties.

    It's more than money, memories, or music could ever be - it's the simple birth of a child, long ago. It's the birth of the Son of Man.

    The gift of salvation from the Father to the world. It was the greatest gift ever given, and it can be the greatest and most meaningful gift ever received if your heart is receptive.

    Just take a moment to sum up the meaning of Christmas. It's most human beings at their best. It's more of a feeling than a complete reality.

    It's a sentimental collection of frozen pictures from our past that warm our hearts and wets our eyes. It's a time to reflect and a time to take stock in ourselves and reassess the past year.

    It's a time for mending fences and swallowing pride. It's a time when it's all right for the child in us to show.

    It is a time for joy and sweet sorrow. It is truly the best time of the year. Ho! ho! ho! Merry Christmas to you and yours.


    Rusty Reeves is the author of "Velvet Sky" and "Revealing the Covenant." He is currently writing "The Lightning Tree" that will be released in 2004. He lives in Madison and can be reached by e-mail at

  2. #2
    Great visuals, I can relate, I like you writing style! Merry Christmas!


  3. #3

    Ahhh...the memories!


    I do not know how you manage to hit a spot in my heart everytime you write something! I could almost have sat myself down in the old Sears Dept. store that used to be downtown...and tasted the favorite candies and remembered the sights and sounds. And remembered the huge white Nativity scene which rested on the Sears rooftop back in my childhood days...

    It was a more serene pace, a less hectic season, and people actually took time to enjoy what they were least through my child-eyes, that's how it seemed...

    I find myself thinking that for our own sakes, we should all slow down, and take time to enjoy a more simple Christmas Celebration...

    Thanks for sharing, Rusty...your words are special every time...

    Merry Christmas!


  4. #4
    Thank you...Opps! Sorry Dr.Young, I posted this column of mine before reading your post. However, I still maintain the copyright so I may not be breaching your rule.


    [This message was edited by Rusty Van Reeves on 12-25-03 at 05:24 PM.]

  5. #5
    Thank you Rusty. As the author and holder of the copyright, you may post your article if it doesn't break another contractual agreement.
    Thanks for sharing the memories.

    "A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles"....C. Reeve 1998

  6. #6
    Rusty, thanks so much for sharing! I hope that people do not refrain from posting news articles about themselves or things that they have written. Of course, you may post things that you have written!

    I feel likewise about articles that are written about people here. If anybody dares sue this site for people posting things that are written about them, I would not only be really upset but would go to court to defend our rights to post such articles. After all, journalists and the newspapers are getting the stories for free (not paying the people for giving out their stories). I have to wait for the lawyers to come back from their vacations before I can get a definitive opinion as to what constitutes infringement of copyright.


  7. #7
    Yes, before accepting the job with the newspaper that was my first question (Do I retain copyright?). I asked it because I one day have plans to combine these columns/essays into a book. They assured me after publication the writing/stories reverted back to me to do with as I pleased. I'm happy you allow me to share them here... many of these have spent the last 8-12 years in a box in my closset. Many were written by me for me, a way in which I could clear my head and come to terms with that little voice inside my head. This condition we all share isolates us from so many and I think that alone is one of the most difficult aspects of it... writing essays to myself began as the act of a desperate mind. It has since turned into a way of reaching the masses.


  8. #8
    Yes, Rusty, echoing others - Thank you.

    Well done.

    Peace and happiness in your new year.

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