Tonight is the night! The night before Christmas. It is a great time of year when people are nicer to each other. We hope it will be a time of Peace and Good Will to all.

In America it is especially a time for children. My memories of Christmas are replete with warm thoughts of preparing for Christmas. I especially cherish the memories of decorating the Christmas tree. Carefully placing first the lights, and then the ornaments around the tree. Putting tinsel around a real tree was the last thing done. When I was small, my Mom helped me put a star on the highest point of the tree. It was hard to reach that high. I fondly recall the smell of the tree that filled the room.

The excitement was palatable the night before Christmas in anticipation of Santa. Sometimes a mug of milk and a plate of cookies was left for the weary traveler as he stopped by with his reindeer. I loved listening to the story of “The Night before Christmas.” I knew you had to be quiet or else Santa wouldn’t come but it sure was hard to sleep. After all what would Santa bring?

The Christmas story was read from the Bible as well so we wouldn’t forget what the true meaning of Christmas is supposed to be.

Christmas is more than what material things you would hopefully receive. I know I still remember, the hope of getting something else to add to my Lionel Train set. I especially liked getting the milk car, where this little man would come out of the railroad care to make sure the bottles of milk were properly placed.

I wish we had the spirit of Christmas every day. Peace and Love. It is a time of sharing and giving and being with your family if you have one.

As a child your memories are filled with the horror stories of Scrooge and the Grinch who stole Christmas. What was particularly scary were the ghosts who haunted Scrooge during his traumatic night’s sleep on Christmas Eve. You grow to realize that you would never want to be Scrooge or the Grinch. The fear of being alone was hammered home in the story of the tight-fisted Scrooge.

America is experiencing a better Christmas than recent years. The price of gas is down, way down. Families have more money to spend and enjoy the gift of giving.

If I had a Christmas wish list for Santa, at the top of my list,  I would want each child to be loved and have food on the table this holiday.

I would wish that our servicemen and women could be home with their families. I will always remember the times Bob Hope was away from home on Christmas bringing good cheer and a few laughs to Americans who were serving abroad away from home and their loved ones. I found the singing of “Silent Night,” particularly sad, for our men and women in uniform would not hear the sounds of laughing children back home.

We have a lot to be thankful for.

I do have my list of those who deserve to be candidates for the Grinch of the Year or the Scrooge of the Year. I nominate, the retiring Senator from Oklahoma, Coburn who held up a bill that would benefit servicemen and women who contemplate suicide.

The Congresspersons who passed an amendment to the Omnibus bill in December, they deserve our contempt as they have put us all at financial risk in the future. May the Ghost of Christmas futures haunt them.

For those Congresspersons who promise to end the Food Stamp program, they should all experience hunger, and remember the hunger pains of Tiny Tim from that childhood tale.

But for the rest of us, I wish you all joy and love around the world in these days of peace and harmony. May we be granted more days in which we treat each other with love and fairness, by living our lives according to the golden rule and the true meaning of Christmas.

And to all a Good Night. Joy and Peace to all!



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