When I was growing up, there was a family that lived just up the street from us that we spent a lot of time with. The Steeles were my second family. They had 3 kids and their youngest daughter, Nan, was my age. Nan, my sister, Gina, and I played together almost daily. Our parents would get together at least one night every weekend and play canasta. Our families spent enough time together that it was natural for us to celebrate Christmas together and exchange gifts. One year, one of us kids received a Spirograph set for Christmas. I think it was my sister. We all were playing with the Spirograph set. We were at the Steele’s house and we were playing at a folding table that was set up in their living room. Our parents were at the kitchen table playing canasta.
I consider myself to be a movie lover. There are a handful of movies that I consider my absolute favorites that you would think I would watch them on a regular basis that I can go for years without watching. But I always watch my favorite Christmas movies every December. This is not intended as a complete list of every Christmas movie that I like. It only includes the ones that I absolutely have to watch every year. If you haven’t seen these films, I highly recommend them all. This is not intended as a review of these films, only a recommendation list and a few of the reasons I suggest watching them.
Purchased years before my kids were born
Before they get misplaced
Or my family is disgraced
I think it’s time the whole thing gets replaced
I’m looking for an inflatable baby Jesus
To decorate my lawn this Christmas eve
And I’m looking for an inflatable Christmas stable
With an inflatable star that everyone can see
And I’m looking for an inflatable Joseph and Mary
With lights inside to show us all the way
To get to the inflatable baby Jesus
To decorate my lawn on Christmas day
Yes I’m looking for an inflatable baby Jesus
Lying in an inflatable manger and hay
An inflatable cow and an inflatable donkey
All anchored down so they don’t blow away
Inflatable sheep and an inflatable camel
Kept behind an inflatable fence
Inflatable shepherds and inflatable wise men
With inflatable gold and myrrh and frankincense
I’ve got a brand new snowman
And a great big Santa Claus
His head turns side to side and he waves
And a bunch Christmas penguins
Sliding down a slide
And dancing reindeer pulling on a sleigh
But I really need an inflatable baby Jesus
Because the plastic one don’t work no more
And I cannot find an inflatable baby Jesus
When I look for one at my local store
If you see an inflatable baby Jesus
Pick him up and send him on my way
So I can have an inflatable Baby Jesus
To decorate my lawn this Christmas day
Art Wheeler © 2017
The person with number 2 can either select a new gift or steal the gift from the first person selected. When both people have a gift, the next person takes a turn until everyone has a gift. There are usually rules about how many times a gift can be stolen before it’s taken out of circulation. And you usually cannot take back a gift that was just taken from you.
After my grandfather died, my mom started doing Christmas Eve at her house. Soon, she started inviting my dad’s family. My father continued to have his siblings over for Christmas Eve after my mom passed away and that is the tradition we continue to this day.
Among our family Christmas traditions is Christmas Eve communion. This tradition didn’t start until I was in college. At that time, the pastor at the church I grew up in started serving come and go communion and this tradition continues today. Even before this tradition started, we would go to my grandparents’ house on Christmas Eve. When this started, the family would go to church as a large group and receive communion.
I have fond memories of decorating the Christmas tree when I was growing up. We always used an artificial tree. This was not the realistic artificial trees that you see today. The branches of this tree had a green hue that was identical to the color of the green army men that I played with regularly. I’m willing to bet that it was the same type plastic and possibly made at the same factory. It was not a tall tree either. It probably wasn’t over 5 feet tall. When I was young, it didn’t seem that small but as I got older, I realized how short it was. The angel at the top of the tree was never in danger of scraping the ceiling.
Singer, Songwriter, Entertainer, Storyteller