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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • That's what I think: Some thoughts about Christmas

  • I'm so old that the first recorded Christmas song I remember hearing played on a record player at home was "All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth," by Spike Jones and His City Slickers.
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  • I'm so old that the first recorded Christmas song I remember hearing played on a record player at home was "All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth," by Spike Jones and His City Slickers.
    It was on a record that was in a record album. It was a literal album, like a book of photos, only in between the covers of that book were envelopes holding records. The records spun 78 revolutions per minute on a record player that had needle on an arm, and that needle rode in the grooves on that record, vibrating and playing the sounds recorded on that brittle record.
    Oh, never mind, young people will never understand what a record, or a real album, or a needle are. Of course, no young person is reading this essay, because young people don't read newspapers. They read the little video screens on their telephones. They send messages back and forth that say things like "Wassup?" That means "What's up?" That is short for "Hello, how are you?" the greeting of civility that I was taught as a child closer to 100 years ago than I like to think.
    In the language of the young moderns, they spell "your" as "ur" and "before" as "b4." It's a new language for the new enlightenment.
    What in the world just happened? I started out writing about Christmas but quickly moved to my other favorite subject, i.e. what's wrong with the world today is the young.
    Let's get back to Christmas.
    I love Christmas; I hear a lot of people say they hate Christmas because it has gotten so commercial. Mine hasn't. I've never had enough money to have a commercial Christmas. My children always got presents that were mostly necessities like underwear and pajamas and socks wrapped up in pretty paper, with one or two toys mixed in. My grandchildren get the same treatment.
    When my kids were young, the best part of Christmas was driving around town looking at lights on houses and in yards. We also liked watching Christmas shows on TV together. And we liked listening to Christmas music.
    Now the good old TV shows have been replaced with shows not fit to watch. And the music on the radio is not worth listening to most of the time. I have hardly heard Bing Crosby, Andy Williams or Perry Como. I've heard no Frank Sinatra or Dean Martin songs.
    Good grief, I am old.
    Well, we got to hear - and sing- the good old Christmas carols at church. That's something you can always count on. The church I attend remains consistent, not trendy or faddish. That's comforting.
    And Christmas goodies are still around, and still good. At my day job, cookies and candy show up in the employee break room. The same happens here at my night job at the newspaper.
    Page 2 of 2 - And there either have been or are going to be dinners at both jobs and at church.
    Here's a poorly written attempt to be slightly humorous in verse:
    It's the season of goodwill,
    of gifts and good eats,
    and when folks offer food,  
    I can't say "No!"
    So I try all their cookies,
    their pies and their treats,
    and watch as both my weight
    and waistline grow.
    I thank all these cooks
    for sharing their foods
    I like all these treats
    for which I don't have to search.
    It's nice to walk into a room
    and see a table of goods.
    They show up everywhere -
    at job, home and church.
    After Christmas, I know
    I'll have the dieting blues.
    I must share
    the following fact:
    I'd be 10 times richer
    than Howard Hughes
    If it were dollars, not calories,
    that I so easily attract.
    Yes, you're right, I'll never be as funny as Spike Jones.
    Merry Christmas.

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