CHRISTMAS IS MY FAVORITE TIME OF YEAR: I've written about it frequently, but I just love the Christmas spirit, and all it brings. Despite the fact that my dad passed away a week before Christmas 31 years ago, I still look forward to the music of Christmas, and the spirit of goodness that goes with it.
Just look at what the people of Stoughton have done for Firefighter Jack Hussey, whose family lost everything this past Friday due to a fire at their Abington home. I'm sure residents would help him any time of year, but it just seems that people open their wallets more for their fellow man around Christmas.
Look at the food pantries, and how they fill up with needed items, when goodness shows through at the holidays. Charities receive their final boost around the Christmas season (ok, some of it is because of the end-of-the-year tax deductions). But, I prefer to think it may be Matthew 22:37-40, when Jesus said, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."
Christians are more likely to attend church, to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, their savior, at this time of year. But, I look beyond the celebration of His birth, and reflect what the atmosphere is like. People just seem nicer. They smile and wish a Merry Christmas. I wish it back with a similar smile. I like that.
Some hesitate, feeling they may say the wrong thing, with this politically correct society we live in. Many retailers wish me, "Happy Holidays." I'm not fond of that, although it's certainly better than no well wishes at all.
They may feel it offends me if I celebrate Chanukah. It doesn't. I love hearing, "Merry Christmas", and have enjoyed hosting our Annual Christmas Parade for the Stoughton Community Events Committee. Santa, Frosty, Mrs. Claus and the Elves bring a twinkle to the eyes of little children.
I hate cold weather, yet I prefer when Christmas comes with a coat of snow on the ground. Living in California or Florida just wouldn't feel like Christmas to me. Christmas is a celebration of family, and a belief in something bigger than ourselves. It's also a time for movies that reflect the Christmas spirit, sometimes dramatically, other times quite comically.
My favorite Top Ten Christmas movies include (in no particular order), "It's A Wonderful Life"; "Miracle on 34th Street"; "Elf"; "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation"; "Scrooged"; "A Christmas Carol"; "The Santa Clause"; "Jingle All the Way"; "Frosty the Snowman"; and "The Christmas Box."
I also enjoy many of the Christmas movies that the Hallmark Channel puts out each year. But, the most joyous part of Christmas for me is the music. I listen to it year round on my large collection of Christmas CDs, and tune into radio stations that play it all day and night.
Chanukah has "Oh Chanukah", "The Dreidel Song" and Adam Sandler's clever "Chanukah Song." But Christmas has thousands of amazing songs, from the strictly religious to the seasonal. Here's my Top Twenty of all time (in no particular order):
The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole; Jingle Bell Rock by Bobby Helms; Merry Christmas (The War Is Over) by John Lennon; Snoopy's Christmas by The Royal Guardsmen; Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Frank Sinatra; White Christmas by Bing Crosby; Do They Know It's Christmas? by Band Aid; Frosty the Snowman by Gene Autry; Blue Christmas by Elvis Presley; Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer by Dr. Elmo and Patsy; Merry Christmas, Darling by The Carpenters; It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Andy Williams; Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee; Merry Christmas, Baby and Little Saint Nick by The Beach Boys; O Come All Ye Faithful by Twisted Sister; Holly Jolly Christmas by Burl Ives; Last Christmas by Wham!; It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas by Perry Como; and Wonderful Christmastime by Paul McCartney.
To all my loyal Patch readers, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
SANTA COMES TO TOWN! The Old Colony YMCA in Stoughton hosted Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus and a number of Elves on Saturday, December 15. Santa, who said his sleigh was getting worked on ("they are also putting new hooves on the reindeer."), came in Engine One of the Stoughton Fire Department.
A huge crowd was gathered to see Santa, get on his and Mrs. Claus' knees and give them their wishes. Then, everyone went downstairs and had a pancake breakfast with Santa. There was also a fun hayride from Pine Meadow Farm in Canton. Peter Pineo was the driver.
"It was a fun event for our children. People were there to enjoy each other and families could enjoy a relaxed weekend event. We're lucky to have a Y that does these types of events that can help bring families together," Ellen Greene, Associate Director of the Old Colony YMCA in Stoughton, said.
Take a look at pictures from Santa's visit in the media gallery of this article.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: To former Stoughton resident and Elite Fitness Trainer, Melissa Dias-Lopes, who now lives in Salem and works as a Real Estate agent for J. Barrett & Co.