Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, December 15, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page A:3


Mountain View News Saturday, December 15, 2018 

KATIE Tse..........This and That

WALKING SIERRA MADRE.. The Social Side By Deanne Davis


Hello again. You don’t 
know how tempted I was 
to recycle an old article. It’s 
been one of those weeks. 
But, as you can see, by sheer 
force of will, I churned out 
another fresh piece for you. Enjoy!

 The Christmas season is upon us. As I wrote a few 
weeks ago, I’m not even ready for Thanksgiving, 
and it’s already passed. So you can imagine how 
unprepared I am for Christmas! My husband is 
impossible to shop for. But one group of people 
I never stress over as far as gifts are concerned is 
my coworkers. 

 So when I go to their Christmas party tomorrow 
(which, for you, is yesterday) my plan is just to 
socialize but not participate in the gift exchange. 
I already explained this idea to one of the ladies 
on the social committee, and she assured me that 
she isn’t even fully participating in all the planned 
events, herself. It’s going to be a combo ugly-
sweater-contest-gift-exchange-game affair at a 
local restaurant, and she doesn’t want to brave the 
ugly sweater part.

 I’m not one for Christmas parties, or any kind 
of party, but I do enjoy hanging out with my 
coworkers, so that’s why I decided to make an 
appearance this year. 

 It’s not that I don’t like Christmas. I do. It’s just 
that I could really pass on the whole gift exchange 
aspect of it all. I mean, I understand the vitality of 
Christmas for children. They don’t have incomes 
or any way of buying things for themselves, not 
being able to drive and all. So they rely on us 
to come through for them at Christmas and on 
their birthdays in order to obtain their desired 
possessions. But for us adults, I say, “Why don’t 
you keep your $20 and I’ll keep mine?”

 Aside from the gift giving part of Christmas 
parties, I must say I could do without the games. 
If you’ve lived long enough, you’ve attended 
countless Christmas parties, bridal and baby 
showers, and you know all the cheesy games that 
typically take place at these events.

 I witnessed one that I hadn’t seen before at 
another Christmas party I recently attended. 
For this one, everyone brought an inexpensive 
wrapped gift, deposited them on a table, picked out 
one for themselves, and then stood in a big circle, 
each one holding the gift they picked out. The 
leader read a story and inserted the words “left” 
and “right” periodically, which was our cue to pass 
the gifts in the given direction. I predicted that 
no matter how far our original present traveled, it 
would eventually return to us. And I still think 
that was what the intended plan was. 

 Humorously however, we managed to botch this, 
and not once, but twice, the circle ended up with 
some people holding two bags and other people 
empty handed. And we weren’t even drinking! 
Don’t know how we happened to mess that up.

 Well, I’ve never been to a Christmas party 
with my current coworkers before, since I’m at a 
different campus now. But I’m sure it will be a riot. 
Hopefully no one will mind my being a wall flower 
during the game. And if anything particularly 
funny happens, at least I’ll have some material for 
my next article!

“That First Noel’s come ‘round again,

Just like it does each year,

To tell us it’s Christmas, finally it’s Christmas, 

Joyfully it’s Christmas, 

The best time of the year, the best time of the 

This particular song goes on to tell us that the tree 
is in the window, the wreath is on the door, and 
about a million ornaments are scattered on the 
floor! Most probably you’re way past that stage, the 
tree is up and gorgeous. You finally untangled the 
lights and put the angel up on top. But here’s the 
question you’ll be facing in a few days when the 
presents are all unwrapped and everything you got 
everybody fit and was exactly what they wanted! 
Why is it that putting up Christmas decorations, is 
so much more fun than taking them down. Also, 
why is it that the Christmas decorations that seem 
so few and so light as you take them out of the 
basement and up the stairs have doubled (like wire 
hangers) in size and tripled in weight and you can’t 
remember when on earth you carried all those up.

Playing Christmas music and rediscovering each 
cute little Christmas item is such fun and then 
deciding where to put each one is a pleasure. I’m 
especially partial to all my little lighted houses. My 
mother started collecting them many years ago 
and gave her collection to me. I have added to it 
over the years and now think I have about twenty 
of them. They look fantastic on the piano, behind 
the couch and on the maple hutch in the dining 
room. Last year they all stayed in their boxes as 
my best buddy and Christmas decoration admirer 
was spending his first Christmas in heaven. This 
year, I’ve gotten most of them out and they look 

 After much discussion among our adult 
children, I did get out Santa’s Band, which was 
John’s favorite Christmas decoration. Many years 
ago he went to Costco and came home with his 
eyes alight and excitement spilling out of his every 
word as he described this wonderful band of little 
men attached to bells and electrically driven so 
every time you turned it on, it played a Christmas 
carol. They had quite a repertoire and the band 
was led, of course, by Santa. John went to Costco 
several times and came home each time with more 
stories of the glories of Santa’s Band. I finally took 
his hand, looked deep into his eyes and said, “You 
know, honey, you can buy Santa’s Band yourself, 
with your own money!” He had never thought 
of that. Back he went and Santa’s Band decorated 
the top of one of our bookcases every year from 
then on. Yes, it got up there after I spent an hour 
untangling all the wires, bells and little people, 
but he loved it. Apparently, all the children loved 
it, too, and there was lively discussion over who 
should have Santa’s Band. Our daughter, Patti, 
ended up with it and I was happy to hand it over 
and let her untangle all those wires and bells.

 We all have special nostalgic goodies that fill 
our hearts with memories and happy thoughts. 
Pictures of our children taken in Sunday School, 
our grandchildren’s little hands and feet on 
ceramic tiles, tiny felt Christmas stockings with 
everyone’s name on them in glued on glitter. I also 
have little glass ornaments which were my Aunt 
Helen’s, dating from the ‘30s. .

 When we were first married, we rented a lovely 
house with a high beamed ceiling up on Canon 
Drive, right behind where Christian author, 
Fay Angus lived, and when our first Christmas 
together arrived, I was about hysterical with 
excitement. We went down to the railroad yards 
where trains were coming in from wherever they 
loaded on those trees, I have a feeling it was the 
Pacific Northwest. Railroad workers pitched them 
off the cars and anyone who was standing there 
could pick out whatever tied-up tree they wanted. 
I don’t remember it costing very much. We 
selected an enormous Noble fir and tied it to the 
top of our little blue Ford Falcon. Got it home and 
it had to have been ten feet tall or taller and was 
the most gorgeous thing we’d ever seen. We had 
just a few things to put on it, but it was our tree and 
our home and our children opened presents under 
it and I will remember always what a wonderful 
time that was. 

The song up at the beginning goes on to say:


“But that’s not the reason we celebrate the season...

Oh, it’s that baby in the manger,

Christ child in the manger,

Mary kneeling by his side,

Joseph beaming down with pride.

Peace on earth, good will to men,

We celebrate that night again.”

I’m hoping all your Christmas memories are merry 
and bright! To quote Tiny Tim from Dickens’ A 
Christmas Carol, “God Bless us every one!”

My book page: Deanne Davis

 “Star of Wonder – A Christmas Story”

Is available there. This is a wonderful Christmas 
Love me!

Star of Wonder the CD is now on TuneCore! 
Featuring this song! Take a look!


 Follow me on Twitter, too!

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