Jim Hicks: We Can Still Make Christmas 2020 Special . . .

Guest columnist Jim Hicks writes: "We will survive (Christmas 2020) and will all place a lot more value on Christmas 2021 as a result."

Jim Hicks

December 23, 20204 min read

Christmas tree close up scaled

There is no doubt about it. Christmas 2020 is going to be a little different for most of us. Many won’t be able to attend church services and fewer place settings at the table when the special meal is served.

One of our friends saw this as a special opportunity to make Christmas special by reaching out to others in every way we can. That phone call to and old friend or relative you haven’t seen for years . . . delivering some cookies or other goodies to the neighbors you know don’t have family to join them . . . a small gift or simple “thanks” to the mailman, the clerk in the grocery store or any other person who provides service or help to you during the year.

Not a bad idea.

But we will survive and will all place a lot more value on Christmas 2021as a result.

Why are some people so organized while the rest of us seem to be in a whirlpool of demands on our time we can’t seem to get things done on time?

You know the people we are talking about.  Those are the ones driving clean cars and pickups. 

They live in neat and orderly homes, all the tools in the garage are neatly hung in the proper place and they start sending out their Christmas cards as soon as they clean up from Thanksgiving dinner.

Here in Buffalo, Sven and Maudie are sure not in that group.  Sometimes they don’t know whether to send Christmas cards or wait another week or two and send Valentine wishes.

A few years back the Bench Sitters got into a discussion about the many essays that have been written about the meaning of Christmas.

One of our favorites is from a writer by the name of Oren Arnold. He was born in 1900, was a newspaper writer who went on to be a successful author.

Arnold said he had been most influenced by five other writers . . . and he named them . . . Mathew, Mark, Luke, John and Paul. This guy said “humor is the calisthenics of the mind.”

One of his most often quoted thoughts was about “Christmas gift suggestions.” His ideas were:

To your enemy, forgiveness

To an opponent, tolerance

To a friend, your heart

To a customer, service

To all, charity

To every child, a good example

To yourself, respect.

Another American writer by the name of Josephine Dodge Daskam Bacon wrote, “Remember this December . . . love weighs more than gold!”

Every family has special stories about Christmas. One of ours goes back many years when Hollis Voiles (owner and chef at the old Busy Bee Café) would dress up in his Santa suit and make a few “calls” for families on Christmas Eve.

It was a tradition for Hollis and he loved the job. His only problem was having too many requests for the evening. He needed to show up, empty his sack and get going as quickly as possible.

Hollis entered the house with a big white bag over his shoulder and greeted all the little ones with a robust “Ho Ho Ho.”

He sat down in the easy chair, opened the bag and started to hand out gifts as every little face stared at him in absolute awe . . . except for one. This three-year old was sobbing and rubbing his eyes.

“What’s the matter?” we asked.

“He’s sitting on my apple!” the three-year-old replied.

We hope nobody sits on your apple this Christmas.

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Jim Hicks