Tag Archives: Christmas

Holiday Dinner

Chicken runs round the farm yard, 

            Wishes he was the duck.

Duck runs round the barn yard, 

            Wishes he was the pig. 

Pig runs round the pig sty,

            Wishes he was the horse.

Horse smiles, relaxes in stall.

            Christmas day, he’ll mourn them all.

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Filed under Prose & Poetry, Special Events

The spirit of Christmas

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Two young boys, huffing and puffing, drag a Flexible Flyer up worn wooden steps, banging and scraping. The boys are dressed like dark woolen snowmen from their watch-capped heads to their over-sized snow boots.

Mother stood over Little Sister, dressing her for the occasion – knitted cap tied under chin with a scarf, multi-layered clothing, and hand-me-down boots.

The three siblings slurged through heavy snow in the driveway, past the mint and white Chrysler with its push button start, into the snow drifts. The children are on a mission; they have their assignment.

They trudged a couple hundred yards – past the now-bald monkey ball trees – until they set foot on the school grounds, then ‘round the back to the dumpsters.

The school’s Christmas tree adorned the large lobby of Lora Little Elementary. After final classes marking winter break, the tree was dragged from the lobby and tossed unceremoniously out the loading dock doors. The tree is forlorn now, marked by several bent and broken branches and bent and wrinkled tinsel.

True to the elementary school tradition, this tree is twelve feet tall and wide as a 1950’s Buick. The Flexi Flyer is a scant few feet long, but none of the logistics mattered. If they did not rescue this tree, they would have no tree.

The three siblings dragged the tree past the sledding hill where one brother would break his leg, past dead weed-choked fencing where the other brother would contract poison oak, past the school’s towering metal and chain swing set where sister would jump, fly!, and dislocate her elbow.

Out of the schoolyard and down the home street, sliding down the driveway, around the house and into the back yard.

Much like Paul Bunyan, Older Brother dispatched his Boy Scout ax from its leather pouch and commenced to chop the tree to a manageable height so it would fit in the rec room.

They set the tree in a teensy, dented tree stand. They re-arranged the leftover tinsel then added their own stored decorations. Paint-flaked ornaments with misshapen hooks, delicately and laboriously placed upon bent and broken branches, until the tree brought the spirit of Christmas into the home.

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Filed under Personal Articles, Uncategorized

A Jarhead’s Night Before Christmas, by Jeffrey Hollar

Twas the night before Christmas – Fallujah, Iraq.

Not a creature was stirring, we hadn’t seen jack.

The weapons were stacked by the door within reach,

In hopes that they wouldn’t get sand in the breach.

The troops were all nestled down snug in their cots,
With dreams that next Christmas they’d do Toys for Tots.
And I in my skivvies and woolen watch cap,
Had just settled in for a 40-wink nap.

When out on the fenceline arose a commotion,
I sprang from my rack in a flurry of motion.
I low-crawled my way to the door in a pinch,
And peeked ’round the corner about half an inch.

The moon on the crest of each wind-shifting dune,
Lit the place up damned near bright as was at high noon.
When what to my sand-stinging eyes should appear,
But a gunmetal sleigh and eight armored reindeer.

By the way that he handled the rudder and stick,
I knew that the pilot was Gunny St. Nick.
More rapid than gunships his coursers they came,

And he cursed them all soundly and roll-called each name:

Now Eightball! Now Cowboy! Now Joker! Now Fuller!
Now Nimitz! Now Halsey! Now Dewey! Now Puller!
To the top of the fence! To the top of the wall!
Let’s shag it! Let’s shag it! Let’s move it out ya’ll!!

As targeting lasers reach out in the night,
And hit their objective at speeds close to light
They shot towards the barracks as speedy as hell,
With their cargo intact and the Gunny as well.

And then in a twinkling I heard on the roof,
The synchronized pace of each marking-time hoof.
And before I could guess at the Gunny’s next tricks,
He crashed through the wall in a shower of bricks.

He was dressed all in camo from cap down to boot,
With his uniform tarnished with cordite and soot.
A ginormous ruck he set down on the deck,
And he looked like a MEF just unloading their tech.

His eyes – how they smoldered! His visage – how freaky!
His cheeks red as coals and his nose rather beaky.
His slash of a mouth was decked out in a scowl,
And his whiskers were trimmed like the horns of an owl.

A big chaw of Redman distended his cheek,
And the juice that he spat left his mouth like a streak.
He had a lean face and a great set of abs,

That when he would tense them could crack shells of crabs.

He was stringy and taut, a real tight-ass no foolin’,
And I found myself quaking and just short of droolin’.
With a glance of his eye and a shake of his head,
I figured out soon he was someone to dread.

He said not a peep but got right to his task,
And left the guys goodies for which they’d not ask.
Then grabbing a line that they dropped from the sled,
He climbed like a monkey way high overhead.

He hopped in his cockpit and gave a loud whistle,
And away they all flew like a Patriot missile.
And I heard him exclaim as he took to the sky,
Merry Christmas to all and to all Semper Fi!!!

Jeffrey Hollar

From Jeffrey Hollar –

I am a husband, father, stepfather, veteran, poet & author, and too many other things to consider. I am a writer without genre writing whatever seems to work on any given day. Jeffrey blogs at The Latinum Vault. You can also find him on Twitter.

God bless our men and women in uniform.

Service photos from Photobucket Madcat91 and Huey197.

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Filed under For The Troops, Guest Writers & Bloggers, Special Events

“The Magical Tale of Santa Dust,” by Patricia Cardello

The Magical Tale of Santa Dust

The idea for “Santa Dust” and ultimately the book “The Magical Tale of Santa Dust” began when my children were toddlers. At Christmas time I would say to my children, “How is Santa going to know where you live? With all the houses and apartments in the world – how is he going to know which one you live in? He can’t go to them all – he’d never make it to all the children in the world. We have to help guide him along the way.”

So together, we mixed a special combination of glitters and gold stars in different colors, shapes and sizes and put them into plastic bags. We called our creation “Santa Dust.” We would then walk around our neighborhood and sprinkle our magical “Santa Dust” with the hope of guiding Santa and his reindeer to our door. Never fail – Santa would arrive to squeals of delight the next morning.

Our 4:00 p.m. Christmas Eve “Santa Dust” walks became a tradition in our family and neighborhood and took on a life of their own. Every year a few more children were added – each child sprinkling “Santa Dust” with the hope of guiding Santa and his reindeer to their door. I encourage you to make “Santa Dust” a Christmas tradition in your home. Listen while your children tell you their hopes, dreams and desires for Christmas. You will cherish the quality time you spend with them as they sprinkle their magical “Santa Dust” and in the process build memories that will last a lifetime. Years from now your children will take their children on their own “Santa Dust” walks and their children will then take their children and carry the tradition forward.

Patricia reading to youngsters

“Santa Dust” was nominated as one of the 2008 Best New Products of the Year and received the 2009 Seal of Excellence Award.

How I chose my illustrator – I found my brilliant illustrator through a web site called “Elance.” I put the perimeters of the type of illustrator that I was looking for and was overwhelmed with responses. I loved her work from the beginning but she lives and works in Italy and we would have to work over the internet. At first she turned my offer down. After numerous discussions she finally agreed and she brought my story to life in ways that I never imagined. It was destiny to find her and for her to find me.

Patricia Cardello

Patricia Cardello is originally from Providence Rhode Island but now resides with her husband and two children in New York City. She is an actress, writer, entrepreneur and fledgling filmmaker.

The Magical Tale of Santa Dust is the first in a series of books she has written.

See The Magical Tale of Santa Dust website here. You can also find “Magic Dust” on Facebook.

Book Illustrator – Manuela Soriani Portfolio

Profile portrait by Hoberman Studio

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Filed under Guest Writers & Bloggers, Kid Stuff & Children's Books, Special Events