Merry Christmas to everyone who reads my column each week. Oh, and Merry Christmas to those that don't, too. I will just have to tell them all in person I guess.
I was sitting watching the snow fall and you know how it is hard for me to do anything when the snow falls, so instead I was thinking about Christmas past.
This season I don't really have any wants or needs for under the Christmas tree. When I was six though, they introduced a doll that talked when you pulled her string. My sister and I wanted one really bad. My sister's name is Cathy and so she wanted the Chatty Cathy model. I would have settled for the smaller Chatty Baby.
My parents hid the packages that had them in so we had opened all our presents and thought that Santa had forgotten our requests. Then, out of nowhere two more presents appeared. We were ecstatic.
A few years later when I was about 10, a monster snowstorm blanketed Iowa on Christmas Eve. The kids were all in the kitchen decorating sugar cookies when the lights went out. We finished by candlelight. We spent more time laughing than fighting about who was using too much green frosting.
We sang carols until late and then everyone balled up in blankets to keep warm and went to sleep. The power came on late Christmas morning and the world was blanketed in glistening white and almost unearthly quiet.
By the time I was 18, I spent my first Christmas away from family while sitting in a barracks in Orlando, Fla. during boot camp. Many of us cried a bit and then we headed to the PX to make phone calls home.
There was the Christmas many years later, when I took my girls to the Children's Christmas Mass on Christmas Eve. The church was packed and the kids were invited to sit up at the altar with the priest as he said Mass.
I was jammed up in the balcony. I was touched by the angelic look on all the children's faces when suddenly I watched in horror as one of my girls hauled off and popped the other on the side of the head. The other relatiated and I was sure a full sibling brawl was about to take place in front of God and everyone. Luckily a quick look from the priest stopped it and all was well again.
Each Christmas has its special memories for me. I have a desire that for all of you there is a few moments in your hectic lives, that you can have some peace and joy. I hope life's tragedies will take a day off and each of you will make a new and happy memory.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!