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From the Mouth of the River

Dreaming of a White Christmas

I’m dreaming of a White Christmas… but then, we always have a white Christmas, and sometimes a white Thanksgiving that lasts until spring. I know you’ve heard stories about the winters of the past. “Why, I remember when I was a kid, the snow was so deep the colts couldn’t even suck.” Old photos show snow piled two stories high on Main Street. Of course, back then there was no snow removal equipment, so you just shoveled it off the sidewalk, along with a place for a customer to park (just in case one could get to town) and piled it in the middle of the street. Usually, it was all gone by the time of the Fourth of July parade.
 A few days ago I was going down to the mailbox to get yet another armload of Christmas catalogs when a semi-load of Christmas trees passed me like a freight train passing a hobo. It was either Christmas trees, or else the Forest Service is now cutting NEW growth timber. That falls under the new wording- “sawed off to prevent excessive growth!”
 I’m not saying they’re rushing the season more and more every year, but Wobble Mart had to showcase their Halloween products out in the aisles because the shelves were already filled with Chinese Christmas gifts.  I, like a lot of folks, was unaware there were that many Chinese living in America, let alone celebrating their Christmas from October through December, but apparently, there are. That’s why everything in the stores is made in China.
 When I was a kid, we celebrated Christmas on the 25th of December. Our parents would stuff stockings with oranges, apples, assorted hard-rock candies and mixed nuts, then hang them on a nail over the mantel. There was one for each child in the household. The heat from the fireplace would begin to melt the candy, sticking the nuts and fruits to the inside of the stocking. While you were trying to clean this mess out of your only good sock, your parents would lay the blame on some fat guy named “Claws;” said he showed up in the middle of the night. And you wouldn’t believe how they said he got in!
 We were told the story of the birth of Christ, and how he was laid in a manger while wise men brought him gifts. The gifts we received as small children were symbolic of that glorious night, meant to remind us, each year, of his birth.
 At what age does a child no longer need gifts to remind oneself that it is time to celebrate the birth of Christ?
 I was told it was at the age of reasoning, which varies with each child, but falls somewhere between nine and 12 years of age for most children. That explains why I still wanted a new truck at the age of 35! After all, I was getting pretty tired of a sock full of hard candy.
 Who told you there was no Santa Claus? Did your mother and father sit you down and explain it? No! Those smart-aleck kids at school probably told you. You know the ones, two or three grades ahead of you in school, the know-it-alls who like to tease younger kids. They probably got coal in their stockings! “And another thing,” they’d say, “there’s no Easter Bunny, either!” Once they had you down, they’d really unload on  you. “The only thing an Easter bunny leaves behind is little brown pellets!”
 That’s right. No Santa Claus, no reindeer, no sleigh full of toys, no rabbit laying colored Easter eggs. 
 Remember, if you haven’t been straight with your kids by the time they reach the age of reasoning, trying to convince them Jesus can walk on water is going to be a tough sell!

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Author info

Boots Reynolds Boots Reynolds The "internationally-renowned cowboy artist" Boots Reynolds has moved his comedic interpretation of life into the writing field with his regular column in the River Journal - From the Mouth of the River.

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humor, Christmas, Santa Claus

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