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Christmas Celebrations

We have always had traditional things we have done for various holidays, like for Thanksgiving we have a big turkey and all that goes with it and I read the poem “When Father Carves The Duck” which i found on the internet at We have it in a book of Children’s poetry that we bought when Ben was little. Then we pray and eat. We keep “grazing trays” out all day in case anyone drops over.

Normally, on Christmas Eve, everyone is so busy doing all the last minute stuff that we just order pizza for dinner. Then on Christmas morning, we read the Christmas story and open presents. Since everyone is so busy with their new stuff we just eat the leftover pizza from the night before. We have always had pizza for Christmas dinner. We set out the “grazing trays” then too. We keep stuff through the season for just in case.

This year, Margaret’s brother John and his wife Becky came out to visit! They drove all the way from South Beloit, IL, which is on the Illinois/Wisconsin border just to be with us. That was really special.

You may or may not recall that we something like a menagerie at our house with 4 cats, 1 dog, 1 bunny and 2 birds. John has allergies. Bad allergies. So bad that we had to take all the grazing trays to the hotel and order the Christmas Eve pizzas there. We took the party to them. Christmas morning we went to Ben’s apartment and carried all of the pizzas, presents, trays, some other breakfast foods over there. So, our tradition was a little jumbled this year. One of my favorite presents, they are all my favorites you understand, but one favorite I will take the time to tell you about is one I got from Abigail. It was a Coca-Cola phone. It looks like it was made form old-fashioned Tiffany stained glass with the logo inlaid in it and when it rings, it lights up inside through the glass and the handset looks that deep, dark., beautiful brown color that is the heavenly nectar. It is so cool. I also got a Coca-Cola clock this year. I got an empty bag and a coloring page from Western Wearhouse because Margaret wanted to get me a new pair of boots or a gift card for some, but wasn’t sure how much it would be. I guess she didn’t figger if there was any left over I also need a new hat. (just a little joke there) I am down to wearing my faithful old Army boots, which are the second most comfortable shoe on Earth. They are 16 years old, however, and starting to leak a little now.

I gave Ben a gag gift from the dollar store, a remaindered book and tape set called, “How to Win at Parenting without Beating Your Children.” It was full of new-age claptrap that is worse than worthless. The real present I bought for him was Dr. Dobson’s, “New Strong-Willed Child.” This is a completely re-written version of “Raising the Strong-Willed Child” full of new research and data, and is excellent. It seemed, since when she was born she came out with her fist raised and obviously determined to live, and many of the things she does now, appropriate. One of the paragraphs on the back cover starts out, “They come into the world smoking a cigar and complaining about the temperature in the delivery room…”

Ben and Isabel went to the hospital and visited Savannah. They took all of her presents up to her, read her the Christmas story, and opened her presents with her. She would respond to the brightly colored papers and the crinkly sound it made. We spent the day at Ben’s house, Grandma took her nap in their glider rocker and a great time was had by all.

Margaret is doing better; she is less dizzy all the time and may be ready for work on Monday. She still has a pain, but I’m not going anywhere. Seriously, her head itches where she hit (she had an abrasion) and she can’t scratch it. She really is doing a lot better and it is because people were praying for her.

As the Good Book says, “Santa brought gifts to the Baby Jesus and Rudolph’s nose was the star.” Okay, maybe the Good Book does not say that.

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