Holiday Memories from Nevada Appeal readers

What a way to start a new year

After taking my neighbor with me to Mass on New Year’s Day, I dropped her off at her home a block away then headed around the corner to my home.

As usual, I knew my two doggies, a Cairn terrier and a Shih Tzu, could hear me opening the gate to the acre and they began gently barking.

I closed and locked the gate, parked the car, got out and put the covers on the front and back windows so I wouldn’t have to scrape off any snow in case it showed up. Got my purse and bag, which I use to carry my mass and music books to church, took out my house key and climbed up the stairs to the front porch.

Put the key in the lock, turned it, turned the door knob and was in for a surprise! I had, evidently, forgot to unlock the top lock from the inside of the door (to which I had no key) and could not open the door!

This happened once before and I had to go to the barn and drag out a ladder so I could climb up and enter via the main bathroom window, which I usually leave open. But for some reason, I couldn’t open the screen to get to the window. So, I went to a window near my office and took down the screen but couldn’t open the window because it was locked!

Great! That meant I would have to go to my neighbor’s house and borrow her phone to try to talk a local sheriff into getting my door open for me or at least get the screen off my bathroom window so I could crawl inside.

As I headed back up the front porch to get my purse so I could drive over to my neighbor’s house, I asked God … Can’t you open that door for me?

Acting upon a “lock up before ya leave” habit, I put the key in the lock … and the door suddenly opened!

Was that a great New Year’s gift or what?

Mary Santomauro


‘Twas the night … we all hugged St. Nick

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through our town,

No faces were frozen – no snow wafted down.

No children were nestled all snug in their beds –

From attacking mosquitoes, they’d covered their heads.

Two cats lackadaisically lounged ‘round our house,

While Mama was scared by the squeak of a mouse.

Wild holly and mistletoe grew here ‘n there,

And the scent of pine needles was strong in the air.

The various flood lights left on until dawn –

Gave a lustre to mainly a newly-mowed lawn.

And Mama and I had just killed off a jug,

Then ended it all with a big cheery hug!

Grandparents, in glee, at the drop of a pin,

Would boastingly tell you about all their kin.

No sugar plums danced in the heads of any –

Except those of us who’d had one too many!

The half-slumbering children were hoping to see –

Slick surf-boards and water skis under the tree.

They all knew that Santa was fast on his way,

In a posh, white stretch-limo, instead of a sleigh.

He relished the change, and was having a ball –

With his limo and driver – hot tub and all!

The tropical moon, so gorgeous and bright,

Illumined the way for Santa this night

And soon he arrived in our neighborhood –

To visit all those who all year had been good.

He sprang from his limo and went right to work –

Not a moment to linger, not a second to shirk.

Decked out in sports clothes, and each thing a name brand,

He shook from his sandals some Florida sand.

There were no chimneys, but that was no pity,

For Santa had always the key to the city.

At our house he’d planned to stay just a minute,

To empty his sack of things that were in it.

But he then came across, on a dining room shelf,

A present we’d left for that jolly old elf.

We’d wrapped it in foil with a large lustrous bow,

And when Santa first saw, he said, “Ho! Ho! Ho!”

‘Twas a bottle of Schnapps – and the timing was great,

For Santa then ruled he was not going to wait!

Revved up, now, he chanted, between chug-a-lugs,

That he was a wee lonely and he needed some hugs…

Not aware anyone was around who could hear,

He spouted his feelings without any fear.

Such longings expressed by that treasured old face,

Lured us out of our hiding behind the bookcase.

We then made a dash, in a twinkling to lend,

The best kind of joy to our gift-bearing friend.

As we each took turns “hugging” a startled St. Nick,

He nervously uttered, “I mush be off – quick!”

In a flash he was back in his stretch limousine –

He sniffled and cheered – then without further scene,

We heard him cry as he motored away,

“Cherry Mishmas, my friends, you’ve all made my day!”

Prof. Thane Cornell

Carson City


It’s Sunday morning, Dec. 2 as I write these lines. There are blue skies above, but our canyon floor is covered in snow.

It’s the first snowfall of the season.

December has dramatically announced her arrival. And the year 2018, just as I’m beginning to get used to it, well it’s already on it’s way out.

It seems to me anymore that Monday rushes headlong into Tuesday. I look around and Tuesday is already off and gone. You just wouldn’t believe all the trouble I’m having keeping track of time.

But the December snow has come. The bright sun rises over the hill and lights up a wondrous winter landscape.

Tiny diamond-like sparkles glitter in the white blanket covering the ground. What a magical performance simple H2O can put on with its amazing shapes and colors.

I’m enjoying my second cup of coffee when my neighbor calls to tell me her dog is ready for his morning run. Off we go through the woods. There are deer tracks in the snow between the trees. I guess it froze in the night after the snowfall. The ground is all crunchy to walk on.

There’s something about the stillness of a clear morning in fresh pure snow. There’s no breeze. I hear a rustle in a distant tree and watch as a withered brown leaf drifts gently to the ground. I feel as though I’m witnessing the last leaf of autumn fall into a bed of winter snow.

I can understand how some people may view the beauty of nature and its changing seasons as somewhat of a religious experience.

The air is generally still and calm here in the morning. It’s usually later in the day that the desert wind picks up to blow between the canyon walls.

It’s cold here being that we are less than a month away from Christmas. It’s cold also due to our high elevation. And when the wind blows, it seems to intensify the chill to where you can feel it in your bones.

Well, welcome to December in Nevada.

The Dollar Store has been playing Christmas music for more than a week already. They’ve got bundles of Christmas gifts piled up for when eager shoppers get in the mood and their programmed materialistic urge of the season kicks in.

We had the Christmas tree lighting ceremony here last night at the old train depot. That’s the centerpoint of our town. The look of wonder, excitement and surprise in the eyes of the children — to me, that’s what makes Christmas new and special again each year.

For one month of the year at least, we have a reason to be happy, joyful and appreciate the goodness of life.

Soon, Christmas music will be all around. Smiles, greetings and wishes of good cheer will be exchanged. Love and human kindness will be present in great abundance.

They will warm our hearts and our environment.

There’s an old saying about how every day should be like Christmas. I think each day could be that way if we were to make it so.

If we can make it so special in this cold last month of the year, then it should be simple to do it in other more appropriate times.

I know it’s early yet, but I want to wish you and all your family a very merry Christmas.

OK, ladies and gents, boys and girls. All together now...

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas...”

Dan O’Connor


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment