"Have a Very Merry Christmas"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Saturday, December 24, 2016

Have yourselves a “Merry little Christmas, let the lights shine bright” for the true procrastinators making their final sprint to the finish. Isn’t it great the first day of winter arrived this week, with no really bad temperatures? The forecast calls for temperatures approaching 50, so shirtsleeves may be worn?

I’m sure you will all look forward to the return of real winter: ice, snow, freezing your you-know-whats off. Sure hope everyone will find some warm mittens, scarfs and ice scrappers under the tree to help getting around.

All the preparations for the big family meals are well underway but perhaps a few last minute items may be needed.

The cranberry sauce and a new turkey baster because we can’t find the old one. A big roasting pan for the bird and fresh poultry seasoning. How about all those ingredients for pumpkin pie, are you sure those are on hand? Do some people actually still roast “Chestnuts on an open fire?” Sounds kind of dangerous, but maybe fun — like s’mores in the summer.

Do carolers still visit door-to-door singing Christmas carols? I can remember fondly standing in my warm house, as they stood outside, teeth chattering belting out the songs. I guess they do still visit care facilities, which is great. Those folks must really appreciate them.

Church bells will begin ringing Christmas Eve and continue throughout Christmas day, heralding the true meaning of the holiday and calling followers to worship.

Hanukkah and Christmas are celebrated together on the 25th this year and the week long Kwanzaa holiday will begin the 26th. I recall in the past, many people traveled to Grindstone City, often in very, snowy weather, to enjoy Christmas Eve in their beautiful church. They had a full pipe organ and the hymns could not have sounded better.

The best part of Christmas day has to be watching the youngsters giggle and laugh as they tear into their gifts. The mystery ones marked “from Santa” were always the favorites. My four daughters delighted in every aspect of the Christmas season. One year, back in the snowy times, they were thrilled when they received a snowmobile. The thrill didn’t last too long though. After begging to take it for a spin, one of them crashed into a pole and it would have to go back to the shop we purchased it from. Luckily, we were able to get a couple more right away.

Many times our extended family members would travel up from the city to spend a couple days with us. All of them hauled snow machines. With about 12 of us in a caravan, we would head down to Caseville. Along the trail, we would pull up and have a great bonfire to roast hot dogs. (Did you know you could cook them in a styrofoam cup?) Just to hold off the cold, a few of the group carried along some medicine called blackberry brandy.

When we came in off the trail we would put up a big table to seat everyone and have several feasts. On Christmas day with all the additional family members around the tree we truly experienced the warmth of the holiday.

Sure hope you all have family to enjoy the day with and please have a very Merry Christmas.

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