The best part about Christmas is sharing

Once again, on Dec. 24 I will bundle up in the early evening then venture out in the brisk winter air to stand at the front entrance of our church and welcome everyone to the annual Christmas Eve service. Once everyone has arrived I will dash inside, join my wife, and warm up by listening to the glorious songs and story in celebration of the true meaning of Christmas.

Of course, we always look forward to trimming the tree, exchanging gifts, overindulging at the dinner table, and all those other treats of the festive season, but the real spirit and joy comes from gathering together and sharing the holiday with family and friends. For those of us hearty souls who have been around for a while, we should be quick to admit that we now live in somewhat of an electronic and push button world — whether we like it or not. Trying to understand all these newfangled gadgets is just about as hard as keeping up with our beloved grandchildren, who, at a very early age, have mastered most of this new technology.

So what do we buy for them for Christmas? My answer is toys that have simple put-together directions for dads and seniors, lots of extra batteries, or a gift card or some cash, which is usually the easiest way out of this shopping dilemma.

As we all try to accept the challenge of eliminating the fridge notes and last minute to-do list between now and Christmas Eve at 6 p.m., here is a wonderful little poem that I would like to dedicate to all of you this holiday season. As we bravely try to keep up with a few changes and just a little stress, there may always be a few ways to slip back and enjoy some of the grand old traditions — even for just a little while.

’Twas the night before Christmas and out on the ranch

The pond was froze over and so was the branch.

The snow was all piled up belly-deep to a mule.

The kids were all home on vacation from school,

And happier young folks you never did see,

Just sprawled around and a-watchin’ TV.

Then suddenly, some time around 8 o’clock,

There came a surprise that gave them a shock!

The power went off, and the TV went dead!

Then Grampa came in from out in the shed,

With and armload of wood, and found the house in the dark.

‘Just what I expected,’ they heard him remark.

‘Them power line wires must be down with the snow.

Seems sorta like times on the ranch long ago.”

“I’ll hunt up some candles,” said Mom. ‘With their light,

And the fireplace, I reckon we’ll make out all right.”

The teenagers all seemed enveloped in gloom.

Then Grampa came back from a trip to his room,

Uncased his old fiddle and started to play,

That old Christmas song about bells on a sleigh.

Mom started to sing, and the first thing they knew.

Both Pop and the kid were all singing it too.

They sang Christmas carols, they sang ‘O Holy Night,”

Soon their faces were all happy and shining in the ruddy firelight.

They played some charades Mom recalled from her youth,

And Pop read a passage from God’s Book of Truth.

They stayed up till midnight, and would you believe,

The youngsters agreed ’twas a fine Christmas Eve!

Grampa arose early, some time before dawn;

And when the kids wakened, the power was back on!

“The power company sure got the line repaired quick,”

Said Grandpa, and no one ever suspected his trick.

Last night, for the sake of some old-fashioned holiday fun,

He had pulled the main switch, the old Son-of-a-Gun!

Community Christmas Dinner

If you are looking for a place to join others for a glorious Christmas dinner and afternoon of joy and sharing, everyone is welcome to attend the annual Ponoka Community Christmas on the afternoon of Saturday, Dec. 25 at the Kinsmen Recreation Centre. For more information or to volunteer or make a donation to this annual festive event please call Sherry Mitchell at 403-843-3638.

Seasons greetings to your family from ours, and please share a happy and safe holiday season in your own special way. Have a great week, all of you!