Ho! Ho! Ho!, It's Santa Claus!Posted Saturday, December 8, 2012, at 12:46 AM
That might make me seem naive and perhaps I was. I liked the illusion and magic of Christmas. Mom and Dad were pretty creative about explaining seeing Santa Claus coming out of helicopters or walking down the street in Gooding or Twin Falls. Santa couldn't be everywhere, so he had helpers.
My daughter Kelly at the age of 3 nearly bowled a Santa over at a McDonald's. I don't think that he liked it all that much. She didn't get a lump of coal in her Christmas Stocking though.
Do we actually know anyone who got a lump of coal or was considered really, really, bad before Christmas? I know that I could have given my own children away a few times from the first part of December to the wee hours of Christmas Eve.
We actually got a visit to our home by Santa Claus when I was about 4 or 5. To say the least, it was an awesome experience! The adults even tried to claim that his reindeer and sleigh were just outside our door. We kids, pretended to "see" them off in the distance.
It was many years later, that Bev and I realized that our "Santa" was Dale Smith, a neighbor's son-in-law.
Free movies were offered at the Opera Theater in Glenns Ferry. As we all know, Santa is only quiet when he is putting presents under the tree. Before the movie was even over, everyone would hear a commotion at the back of the theater. And then quick as a flash! There was Santa running down the aisle, leaving screaming and excited kids in his wake.
Those were the days! No Retail Nightmares like; door-busters or Black Fridays, just Santa Claus. You only saw commercials for kids toys on Saturday Mornings during the cartoons.
Our mothers made us write a list out. We poured over the Christmas Catalog and dreamed. The hottest toys out there could be found at King's Department Store or Western Auto.
It is during the month of December that I miss our Dad the most. He was as excited as we were about Christmas. And Mom said that even after we all left home, you could be sure that he would wake up and try to open a present or two as quietly as possible.
As I have said before, there are no gifts that can match what God has given us with His Only Begotten Son. But one of the most wonderful gifts that our family received growing up was hearing our Dad's voice in the wee hours of the morning. "Get Up, Get Up, It's Christmas!".
Tonight, I am wrapping a mental gift for Dad. It rattles a little and has an odd shape. I am pretty sure that my sister Bev knows what it is. No matter how hard we tried to disguise our annual gift, Dad always guessed.
He couldn't resist teasing us a little before announcing: "It's a package of Socks!"
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Walking the Fence Line
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Fixing fence is the one of the hardest jobs on a ranch. I no longer live on a ranch, but I do know what hard work is. Fences are everyone's concern, but nowadays,the "hole" is always your neighbor's side not your own. It used to be that you would respect your neighbor and mend the fence together. If their cows got in your field, a simple phone call resolved the problem. You might even saddle up your own horse and help them gather them up. We need more people who are willing to roll their sleeves up and fix the fence regardless of who your neighbor is. There are people in this country who need to be reminded that a fence is like the way you should conduct your life. Your posts should be straight and neat. The wire needs to be stretched tight and your gate might be closed, but can still be easily opened. And most of all, we can all saddle up together and ride the range, it won't matter if you have an Appaloosa, Quarter Horse or Thoroughbred. The cows still have to be gathered, fences have to be fixed, and the range is a wide open space of opportunity for us all.