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A Few of FR's Finest....Every Day....12-16-02 Christmas Is...FReeper Memories
Various Freepers | WVNan; JustAmy; Pippin; Diver Dave; Aquamarine; ST.LOUIE1

Posted on 12/16/2002 7:23:51 AM PST by Billie

Christmas Is......

What is Christmas ...
Christmas is, Above All, Love ...
Christmas is Faith, Family, Friends ...
Christmas is Sharing, Giving Hugs, Laughing ...
Christmas is  Baking  Cookies,  Stringing  Popcorn ...
Christmas is Reviving Old Memories and Making New Ones ...

When I asked for help during the holidays with ideas and/or co-hosting a thread, many of you came through with offers of all kinds, for which we are very grateful.  We hope you have been enjoying the variety as much as Daisy, Dansy, Lori, and I have.  Today, some of our Finest Family share a few of their Christmas thoughts, memories, recipes, laughs..... ~ Billie

It's About Family
by WVNan

This is a 'doctored' photo - Nan sent me a portrait
of Uncle John, to which I added hers.

She wrote back, "Thank you Billie. I love that picture.
Uncle will love it too. He loves for me to hug him.
Nobody else that I know of is allowed to hug him. ((((Hug))))"

Uncle John is one of those independent people that are indicative of the early settlers of West Virginia. He may have a grade school education, but he became a wealthy man simply by using his native ingenuity and his natural frugality. He probably never took a handout or even a hand-up from anyone in his life. In other words, he's proud.
During his recent stay in the hospital after a stroke he created something of a stir with his refusal of treatment. He got downright indignant when the nurse tried to bath him, making a fuss that could be heard over the phone when family called to check on him. He could be heard protesting, "Why are you giving me a bath? I don't need no d**m bath."
Happy to say that Uncle John is home and doing fair for someone who has had a stroke and is 93 years old. His unsinkable spirit is intact. ~ Nan

Family Traditions
by JustAmy

Growing up during the 40’s and 50’s was a wonderful time for family get-togethers at Grandmother’s house. After my Grandmother died, family traditions changed. Each of my aunts started building her own family traditions.
For the past fifty-five years, my Mother’s house was the place for a new generation to build wonderful memories of the holidays at Grandma’s house.
With the passing of my Mother this year, there seems to be an empty place in our hearts and homes. A family gathering of three, my husband, my son and myself, hardly seems to be a base for a new holiday tradition.
Four months ago, I started helping out with the babysitting of a grand niece (she was three December 7th). My life has changed!! Instead of spending time in the electronic and home improvement stores, I now find myself in toy stores and the toddler section of the department stores.
After hosting our family Thanksgiving dinner, I will now plan an open house on Christmas day for nieces, nephews, grand nieces and grand nephews. My wish is for the youngest generation to have memories of spending time with family at Aunt Amy’s house. ~ Amy

A Christmas Memory
by Marie Shelton (Pippin)

It was the first year I was in my new apartment, and I had just started out as a Liturgical Minister at the Catholic Church I attend in my town of Glen Burnie, Maryland. That year, 1996, was a year of transitions much like this year is. Our regular pastor was on a sabbatical, so we had another priest standing in for him. This was also the first year I can remember actually having a white Christmas!
I remember waking up on the morning of Dec. 24th to see the snow falling gently on everything and giving everything it touched a special, magical look. I was scheduled to read at the 4:00 Mass that evening at the Christmas Eve Mass. So I put on my boots and bundled up because it was really cold, if my memory serves me right and I walked to the church, which was within walking distance from my apartment. I got there early so I could familiarize myself with that evening’s readings. I enjoy reading the Word of God and I wanted to do the best I could with it.
FR. John, the priest who was celebrating the mass was there as was Anita, the liturgical coordinator/sacristan. We stood in the sacristy and talked and joked a little. Fr. John wanted to process up the aisle but there were so many people coming to church that evening that they were lined up at the side aisles and crowded at the back of our tiny church. Fr. John wanted to know if we could go around the church to the main doors. He wondered if Anita and I could stand a few moments of cold air as we had our coats off. I had piped up earlier that I was part Canadian, so Father John said since you are Canadian, I guess you can stand the cold!
We went out and around the church to the main doors. Fr. John was in a Christmas mood so he went up and knocked on the door; the usher by the door turned around, and Fr. John asked with tongue-in-cheek if we could come in!
We processed in and the Mass started. Anita had to be the altar server, as we had no one to serve. It was a beautiful service and the church was decorated up so wonderfully! It felt like Christmas, especially with the snow coming down. This to me was the most special time and everything went along so well. There were carols and religious hymns sung; the congregation and the choir blending their voices together sounded like angels singing to almighty GOD.
After Communion, Fr. John had a small tape player that he turned on and we listened to the “Ave Maria” being sung in Latin. It was beautiful and I had tears of joy running down my face. It was a glorious and magical Christmas Eve!
I hope everyone reading this has a safe and merry Christmas and a blessed New Year as well! ~ Pippin

A Memory of Christmases Past
by DiverDave

There are several memorable Christmases to chose from and it was tough to pick just one. I scanned my memory from childhood to the present and I think I’ll share about Christmas 1965.
Mrs. DD (Linda) and I were married in June. Three short months later my ship, the USS PIEDMONT (AD-17) deployed for a 6 month cruise to the western Pacific (WESTPAC). We were to spend our first Christmas separated from one another.
Our ship’s crossing of the Pacific took 19 days and we pulled into Yokosuka, Japan and later to sailed to Subic Bay, Philipines and set up repair operations to ships serving in the Seventh Fleet. I was working in the Pipe Shop at the time as a 3rd Class Shipfitter P.
As the holiday season approached, one of my shipmates got the idea of making some sort of Christmas decoration for our shop. That in turn, prompted the other shops to do likewise. The theme was Christmas, and each participating shop produced a decoration which corresponded with the work carried out by each individual shop.
For us in the Pipe Shop, we took a length of 3" black steel pipe, put it in the pipe bender and bent it 180 degrees. We welded it to the deck of the shop and then went to the paint locker to get some paint. In no time at all, we had a giant 7 1/2 foot white with red striped candy cane. We then welded a piece of flat plate to the side with the words, "Season’s Greetings from Shop 56A.
The Sheetmetal Shop cut out large stars, bells, bows, etc and hung them from the overhead in their shop.
The Shipfitter Shop cut up strips of aluminum plate and welded them to a 1" pipe and formed a Christmas tree. They got cotton balls from Sick Bay and glued them to the branches.
The guys in the Machine Shop somehow got ahold of a small fir tree. They placed it on the deck just outside the door leading to the Mess Decks. The decorations were all the curled shavings that had been produced on the metal lathes. Looked pretty good with brass, steel, and copper curly ribbons adorning the tree.
As sailors will be sailors, a couple of guys came back from liberty in the late hours having consumed a few too many San Miguel’s. They decided to knock down our candy cane and take it to their lead Petty Officer’s bunk.
We recovered the candy cane and re-welded it to the deck in our shop the following morning.
That evening, once again too much San Magoo effected normally bright minds and the candy cane was once again stolen.
This time it found it’s way up to Officer’s Country and was placed on one of the dining tables in the Ward Room. Sadly, some dishes got broken by the bumbling burglars and the light-hearted hi-jinx became a serious problem.
The candy cane’s crooked end was cut off, the sign removed and the remaining piece of 3" pipe was place in the pipe rack to be used later on a job order from the fleet..
Somewhere, floating around in one of the Tin Cans of the Seventh Fleet is a section of steel pipe with candy cane stripes.
My time in the Pipe Shop lasted through the month of December and then I went TAD to Diving School for the duration of my second WESTPAC tour and then took up residence in the Diving Locker for the balance of my enlistment and one more WESTPAC cruise in ’67. Dave

From My Kitchen With Love
by Aquamarine

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

2 sticks margarine softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups sifted self rising flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup or 8 oz container sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1/4 firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped nuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease and flour bunt pan. Cream butter and sugar til light and fluffy, add eggs one at a time. Blend in vanilla, sift flour, mix soda in, add to creamed mixture alternately with the sour cream and milk. Mix well after each addition, then spoon half of batter into pan.

Combine brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans. Sprinkle over the mixture. Spoon remaing batter on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan, turn out on plate.

Cornbread Dressing with Bacon and Pecans

1 pan of 9x9 cornbread
6 bacon slices
4 celery ribs, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
6 cups torn day old bread (6 slices)
2/3 chopped pecans, toasted
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon rubbed sage
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 to 4 cups chicken broth
Prepare cornbread; cool and crumble. Set aside. Cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp; remove bacon, drain on paper towels, reserving drippings in skillet. Crumble bacon and set aside. Saute celery and onionin bacon drippings in skillet 10 minutes or until tender.
Combine crumbled cornbread, bacon, sauteed onion mixture, bread and remaining ingredients in a large bowl; stir well. Spoon dressing into a 13 x 9 baking dish. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until golden. Yield: 10 servings.
Note: If you like your dressing drier and crustier use 3 cups broth in the recipe. Use 4 cups for a moister dressing. ~ Aquamarine

Holiday Lighting Tips

One Christmas, when I was about nine, I put a string of Christmas lights on our cat Muggsy. I plugged her in to three long extension cords so she could move around. Then I put her in the back yard. When I set her down, she started jumping up and down trying to shake the lights loose.
I ran in the house and told Mom and Dad to hurry and get to the window, that something wild was out back. My Mom looked out and said..."Oh, my God!", and nearly fainted. She thought I had electrocuted Muggsy. My Dad was laughing so hard he nearly choked. He stopped laughing when Mom told him...."If Muggsy dies, so will you and Tony!". I stopped laughing in a hurry and ran to unplug Muggsy.
When Mom's Irish temper flared - it was time to get thee away! Muggs was fine, no harm done....that's why I'm still alive and able to partake in Billie's 'Christmas Memories'. : ) ~ Louie

Bring A Stray...

..Into Your Heart & Home!


12-14,15-02 Week in Review
Opinions by our own 'King of Ping'
The guy's good, folks!
Thanks, Mixer!

1) Click on the graphic to open the Calendar.
2) Once there you can click on any month and even click to the right to go into next year. Once you are in the month that you joined FR you will need to click on the number in the calendar and then an add item screen will come up.
3) In the next box enter your name in the "Calendar Text" field and then click on submit.
4) If any of the screens fail to load simply click on refresh in your browser and that will usually fix it.
5) If all else fails or simply if you want me to do this for you send me an FReepmail and I will gladly do it for you. ~Mixer

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; Political Humor/Cartoons
KEYWORDS: christmas; freepers; fun; surprises
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1 posted on 12/16/2002 7:23:52 AM PST by Billie
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To: ST.LOUIE1; Mama_Bear; daisyscarlett; dansangel; dutchess; Aquamarine; Diver Dave; JustAmy; ...
Good morning! It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!!

2 posted on 12/16/2002 7:25:44 AM PST by Billie
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To: Billie
3 posted on 12/16/2002 7:26:27 AM PST by Mudboy Slim
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To: WVNan; dirtboy; MudPuppy; MUDDOG; FISHHOG
"Why are you giving me a bath? I don't need no d**m bath."

A man of my own heart...I like yer Uncle John, my FRiend...MUD

4 posted on 12/16/2002 7:29:41 AM PST by Mudboy Slim
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To: Billie; ST.LOUIE1; Aquamarine
St.Louie1, the mugsy story is so funny!

Aquamarine, "Cornbread Dressing with Bacon and Pecans" -- you had me already at the title. Thanks, I'm going to try that.
5 posted on 12/16/2002 7:31:15 AM PST by FreeTheHostages
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To: Mudboy Slim
Good morning, Mud - this is the first day I've had a chance to be here since last Tuesday. Feels good! :)
6 posted on 12/16/2002 7:34:02 AM PST by Billie
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To: Pippin
I *love* Ave Maria.
7 posted on 12/16/2002 7:34:33 AM PST by FreeTheHostages
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To: FreeTheHostages
I agree! The cornbread dressing with bacon and pecans sounds delicious!

Also agree about Muggsy! Leave it to our wolfie to add a little humor!
8 posted on 12/16/2002 7:35:23 AM PST by Billie
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To: Billie
It's just that, like WvNan and JustAmy say, it's all about family.

And in my family, my 2 little brothers would *so* do something like dress the cat in lights. So it rang true.

Billie, hang in there!! Soon the pet thread will be over! :D
9 posted on 12/16/2002 7:37:21 AM PST by FreeTheHostages
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To: Billie
P.S. Those glowing stars are beautiful.
10 posted on 12/16/2002 7:37:59 AM PST by FreeTheHostages
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To: Billie
Well, this one was worth the interminable wait - thanks for the memories, stories, and receipe guys. Excellent Billie, thank you.
11 posted on 12/16/2002 7:41:06 AM PST by lodwick
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To: Billie
Ah Christmas memories. I have a younger brother who did better than the Grinch. When he was five, we lovingly decorated the Christmas tree and handed him the last ornament to hang. He stood on the end of a couch and fell into the tree, knocking it over and busting old family ornaments.

But he excelled on Christmas morning, 6 a.m. Mom had bought Dad a lovely new bowling ball with bag. Little brother woke up before everyone else, unwrapped the bag, took out the bowling ball and rolled it down the hall to the one and only bathroom we had. The little bugger then picked up the bowling ball, and dropped it in the toilet. It sounded like a bomb went off. Our poor father ran in and lovingly picked up his poor scratched bowling ball from the remains of the busted toilet. Do you know how much fun it is to find a plumber on Christmas morning? LOL! Little brother did a lot of things, but that was his Christmas surprise.

12 posted on 12/16/2002 7:43:32 AM PST by xJones
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To: WVNan; JustAmy; Pippin; Aquamarine; Diver Dave; ST.LOUIE1; everyone

Christmas sunrise - Boca Raton

13 posted on 12/16/2002 7:44:14 AM PST by lodwick
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To: xJones; FreeTheHostages; Mudboy Slim; whoever

Eating light as we hurtle toward Christmas

14 posted on 12/16/2002 7:48:40 AM PST by lodwick
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To: FreeTheHostages; Billie; xJones
Aquamarine, "Cornbread Dressing with Bacon and Pecans" -- you had me already at the title. Thanks, I'm going to try that.

It's very good. I got that recipe out of my Christmas Southern Living cookbook...I always add a little extra sage, to me that's the secret to making good dressing.

xJones...ROTFL at your little brother story!

15 posted on 12/16/2002 7:49:42 AM PST by Aquamarine
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To: FreeTheHostages; All
The Pet thread should be fun - it was the most time-involving one I've ever done, but hopefully, all the pet owners will appreciate seeing their beloved four-legged friends dressed up for Christmas. :)

That is TOMORROW, ALL!!!

16 posted on 12/16/2002 7:51:44 AM PST by Billie
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To: lodwick
How very true. Thanksgiving was a wonderful feast, and then we try to eat light, knowing that a great Christmas dinner is coming. Let us all give thanks, indeed.
17 posted on 12/16/2002 7:52:19 AM PST by xJones
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To: lodwick
Thank you, Loddy! I loved reading the stories, and think they will be enjoyed by all.

18 posted on 12/16/2002 7:54:32 AM PST by Billie
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To: Billie; Pippin
Good job on the todays thread Billie, All of the posts are so special.
You coaxed me out of my shell but see that Pippin is still snuggly tucked away in hers. :)
19 posted on 12/16/2002 7:55:49 AM PST by Aquamarine
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To: Billie
Excellent Billie! This is going to be a great thread. So....what are you doing in your spare time? LOL.
20 posted on 12/16/2002 7:55:51 AM PST by WVNan
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