December 25, 2012

‘tis the 2012 season to be merry!



Monte and Carolyn Holland

Today is Christmas Day, 2012. The joyous celebration of Jesus’ birth on Christmas Eve is behind us. We need this annual reminder that God is ultimately in charge (who else can preside over a virgin birth?).
Families gathered today and exchanged gifts (and probably lots of them will be exchanged again beginning tomorrow or regifted at a later time).

We had some wonderful days leading up to Christmas. While Carolyn gathers sisters, those of you who know me know that Santa and I recently became at least brothers, although he is a little chunkier. And I have had holiday adventures as a result.
Heritage United Methodist Church in Ligonier, Pennsylvania, scheduled bell-ringing for the Salvation Army in front of the local Giant Eagle supermarket. On Tuesday, December 11, I signed up for the 1:00-2:00 p. m. slot. I arrived all decked out in my Santa suit.
What a fun time! I offered a lot of Merry Christmases, even to a number of folks who seemed to be too caught up in the season to see the merriness of it. Surprisingly many of those same folks came out with a smile and an offering for the kettle. There were a few women with children who approached me. The children weren’t quite certain how close to get to me.
“Do you want to pull my beard to see if it is real?” I asked.
Nobody took me up on that offer.
Lots of people seemed unable to pass Santa without making an offering. One man even said, “I can’t go by Santa without making a donation.”Another man said my suit must be old because it was somewhat faded.
“It’s because my wife made it for me in the 1970’s when our children were small,” I said.
By the time I left my post the kettle was considerably fuller, and I’d had a great time greeting folks, strangers and friends alike.

Santa enjoys a bear...

Santa enjoys a bear…

A week ago Carolyn and I had to go to Slippery Rock to prepare an apartment and show it to potential renters. On the way up we stopped at Creekside Restaurant just outside Apollo. It is a great little hometown-style diner. We sat down in a booth and awaited service.
A little further down the aisle a man and woman were finishing up their meals. She exclaimed THERE’S SANTA! (I did have a red shirt on, BUT NOT MY Santa hat.)
She proceeded up to our booth, telling me what she wanted for Christmas— that (more…)

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