by John Miller
I thought today's column would be a great time to renew our walk down holiday memory lane.
I've invited readers to share their holiday memories to help get us all in the festive spirit. We tried this last year, and it seemed quite popular. Hopefully, it will have a positive effect on many of us.
Patricia (Phillips) Hood of Clarksburg sent in the first memory for this year and it's a dandy. She even included a photograph.
Here's her story from 1947:
"School was out for the Christmas holidays and that meant my family would be traveling Rt. 19 from Jane Lew to Normantown to my mother's parents home.
"We had made this trip every weekend, holiday and summer vacation since I was born there in Dec., 1937.
"Dad had to go back to his job, but would return Christmas Eve with gifts from Santa.
"It snowed all day Dec. 24 and my aunt "Nete" Juanita was worried that Dad wouldn't be able to arrive in time, so she spent the night making a three-foot tall rag doll for me.
"When I saw the doll under the tree, I hollered for the family to come and see the 'funny' doll Santa had brought me. The 'funny' doll became a favorite present and was played with for many years!"
I'm sure many of us have had a loved one do something extra special to "save" a holiday.
Thanks to Patricia for sharing her wonderful, heartfelt story. I'm already feeling that Christmas spirit growing in my heart.
Any other readers wanting to share holiday memories can send them to me at P.O. Box 2000, Clarksburg, WV 26301 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Speaking of the holiday spirit, with Thanksgiving right around the corner and Christmas fast approaching, area food pantries continue to need your help.
Besides trying to help gather food for holiday food baskets, these pantries and the many church, civic and youth groups that support them, need our help just to supply those in need on a daily basis.
Please take the time to make a contribution -- food or money -- to these groups that truly make a difference.
Contact CRISS-CROSS Information and Referral at 623-6681 for the location of the pantry nearest you.
In a world seemingly gone mad with plenty of hedonistic song lyrics, it was good to see "Three Wooden Crosses," performed by Randy Travis, named Song of the Year at the recent Country Music Association awards show.
Don't get me wrong -- I love fun-loving music.
But too often great songs -- with great messages -- lose out when it comes to recognition because we worry too much about offending other groups.
"Three Wooden Crosses" is all about Christianity, the salvation at the cross and living life right.
Its last few lines state clearly an important message:
"It's not what you take when you leave this world behind you, it's what you leave behind you when you go."
Have a great weekend -- go out and make a difference.