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A Christmas Letter

And Christmas apology from a husband

Hi Sweetheart,

I am sorry about getting into an argument about putting up the Christmas lights.

I guess that sometimes I feel like you are pushing me too hard when you want something.

I realize that I was wrong and I am apologizing for being such a hard-headed guy.

All I want is for you to be happy and be able to enjoy the holiday season.

Nothing brightens the Christmas spirit like Christmas lights!

I took the time to hang the lights for you today and now I will be off to the golf course.

Again, I am very sorry for the way I acted yesterday.

I’ll be home later.

Love you……

 

christmas_lights

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THE VERY BEST CHRISTMAS STORY
The old man sat in his gas station on a cold Christmas Eve.  He hadn’t been anywhere in years since his wife passed away.

It was just another day to him.  He didn’t hate Christmas, he just couldn’t find a reason to celebrate.  He was sitting there looking
at the snow that had been falling for the last hour and wondering what it was all about when the door opened and a homeless man
stepped through.

Instead of throwing the man out, Old George as he was known by his customers, told the man to come and sit by the heater and warm up.  “Thank you, but I don’t mean to intrude,” said the stranger.  “I see you’re busy, I’ll just go.”
“Not without something hot in your belly.”  George said.
He turned and opened a wide mouth thermos and handed it to the stranger.  “It ain’t much, but it’s hot and tasty.  Stew…, made it myself.  When you’re done, there’s coffee and it’s fresh.”
Just at that moment he heard the “ding” of the driveway bell.  “Excuse me, be right back,” George said.  There in the driveway was an old ’53 Chevy.  Steam was rolling out of the front.  The driver was panicked.  “Mister can you help me!” said the driver, with a deep Spanish accent.  “My wife is with child and my car is broken.”  George opened the hood.  It was bad.  The block looked cracked from the cold, the car was dead.
“You ain’t going in this thing,”  George said as he turned away.
“But Mister, please help.”  The door of the office closed behind George as he went inside.  He went to the office wall and got the keys to his old truck, and went back outside.  He walked around the building, opened the garage, started the truck and drove it around to where the couple was waiting.  “Here, take my truck,” he said.  “She ain’t the best thing you ever looked at, but she runs real good.”
George helped put the woman in the truck and watched as it sped off into the night.  He turned and walked back inside the office. “Glad I gave ’em the truck, their tires were shot too.  That ‘ol truck has brand new ones.”  George thought he was talking to the stranger, but the man had gone.
The Thermos was on the desk, empty, with a used coffee cup beside it. “Well, at least he got something in his belly,” George
thought.
George went back outside to see if the old Chevy would start.  It cranked slowly, but it started.  He pulled it into the garage where the truck had been.  He thought he would tinker with it for something to do.  Christmas Eve meant no customers.  He discovered the block hadn’t cracked, it was just the bottom hose on the radiator.  “Well, shoot, I can fix this,” he said to himself.  So he put a new one on.
“Those tires ain’t gonna get ’em through the winter either.”  He took the snow treads off of his wife’s old Lincoln.  They were like new and he wasn’t going to drive the car anyway.
As he was working, he heard shots being fired.  He ran outside and beside a police car an officer lay on the cold ground. Bleeding from the left shoulder, the officer moaned, “Please help me.”
George helped the officer inside as he remembered the training he had received in the Army as a medic.  He knew the wound needed attention.  “Pressure to stop the bleeding,” he thought.  The uniform company had been there that morning and had left clean shop towels.  He used those and duct tape to bind the wound.  “Hey, they say duct tape can fix anythin’,” he said, trying to make the policeman feel at ease.
“Something for pain, ” George thought.  All he had was the pills he used for his back.  “These ought to work.”  He put some water in a cup and gave the policeman the pills.  “You hang in there, I’m going to get you an ambulance.”
The phone was dead.  “Maybe I can get one of your buddies on that there talk box out in your car.”  He went out only to find that a bullet had gone into the dashboard destroying the two way radio.
He went back in to find the policeman sitting up.  “Thanks,” said the officer.  “You could have left me there.  The guy that shot me is still in the area.”
George sat down beside him, “I would never leave an injured man in the Army and I ain’t gonna leave you.”  George pulled
back the bandage to check for bleeding.  “Looks worse than what it is.  Bullet passed right through ‘ya.  Good thing it missed the important stuff though.  I think with time your gonna be right as rain.”
George got up and poured a cup of coffee.  “How do you take it?” he asked.  “None for me,” said the officer..
“Oh, yer gonna drink this.  Best in the city.  Too bad I ain’t got no donuts.”  The officer laughed and winced at the same time.
The front door of the office flew open.  In burst a young man with a gun.  “Give me all your cash!  Do it now!” the young man
yelled.  His hand was shaking and George could tell that he had never done anything like this before.
“That’s the guy that shot me!” exclaimed the officer.
“Son, why are you doing this?” asked George,  “You need to put the cannon away.  Somebody else might get hurt.”
The young man was confused.  “Shut up old man, or I’ll shoot you, too.  Now give me the cash!”
The cop was reaching for his gun.  “Put that thing away,” George said to the cop, “we got one too many in here now.”
He turned his attention to the young man.  “Son, it’s Christmas Eve.  If you need money, well then, here.  It ain’t much but it’s all I got.  Now put that pea shooter away.”
George pulled $150 out of his pocket and handed it to the young man, reaching for the barrel of the gun at the same time.  The young man released his grip on the gun, fell to his knees and began to cry.  “I’m not very good at this am I?  All I wanted was to buy something for my wife and son,” he went on.  “I’ve lost my job, my rent is due, my car got repossessed last week.”
George handed the gun to the cop.  “Son, we all get in a bit of squeeze now and then.  The road gets hard sometimes, but we make it through the best we can.”
He got the young man to his feet, and sat him down on a chair across from the cop.  “Sometimes we do stupid things.”  George
handed the young man a cup of coffee.  “Bein’ stupid is one of the things that makes us human.  Comin’ in here with a gun
ain’t the answer.  Now sit there and get warm and we’ll sort this thing out.”
The young man had stopped crying.  He looked over to the cop.  “Sorry I shot you.  It just went off.  I’m sorry officer.”
“Shut up and drink your coffee ” the cop said.
George could hear the sounds of sirens outside.  A police car and an ambulance skidded to a halt.  Two cops came through the
door, guns drawn.  “Chuck! You ok?” one of the cops asked the wounded officer.
“Not bad for a guy who took a bullet.  How did you find me?”
“GPS locator in the car.  Best thing since sliced bread.  Who did this?” the other cop asked as he approached the young
man.
Chuck answered him, “I don’t know.  The guy ran off into the dark.  Just dropped his gun and ran.”
George and the young man both looked puzzled at each other.
“That guy work here?” the wounded cop continued.
“Yep,” George said, “just hired him this morning.  Boy lost his job.”
The paramedics came in and loaded Chuck onto the stretcher.  The young man leaned over the wounded cop and whispered,
“Why?”
Chuck just said, “Merry Christmas boy… and you too, George, and thanks for everything.”
“Well, looks like you got one doozy of a break there.  That ought to solve some of your problems.”
George went into the back room and came out with a box.  He pulled out a ring box.  “Here you go, something for the little woman. I don’t think Martha would mind.  She said it would come in handy some day.”
The young man looked inside to see the biggest diamond ring he ever saw.  “I can’t take this,” said the young man.  “It means something to you.”
“And now it means something to you,” replied George.  “I got my memories.  That’s all I need.”
George reached into the box again.  An airplane, a car and a truck appeared next.  They were toys that the oil company had
left for him to sell.  “Here’s something for that little man of yours.”
The young man began to cry again as he handed back the $150 that the old man had handed him earlier.
“And what are you supposed to buy Christmas dinner with?  You keep that too,” George said.  “Now git home to your family.”
The young man turned with tears streaming down his face.  “I’ll be here in the morning for work, if that job offer is still good.”
“Nope.  I’m closed Christmas day,” George said.  “See ya the day after.”
George turned around to find that the stranger had returned.  “Where’d you come from?  I thought you left?”
“I have been here.  I have always been here,” said the stranger.  “You say you don’t celebrate Christmas.  Why?”
“Well, after my wife passed away, I just couldn’t see what all the bother was.  Puttin’ up a tree and all seemed a waste of a good pine tree.  Bakin’ cookies like I used to with Martha just wasn’t the same by myself and besides I was gettin’ a little chubby.”
The stranger put his hand on George’s shoulder.  “But you do celebrate the holiday, George.  You gave me food and drink and warmed me when I was cold and hungry.  The woman with child will bear a son and he will become a great doctor.
The policeman you helped will go on to save 19 people from being killed by terrorists.  The young man who tried to rob you will make you a rich man and not take any for himself.  “That is the spirit of the season and you keep it as good as any man.”
George was taken aback by all this stranger had said.  “And how do you know all this?” asked the old man.
“Trust me, George.  I have the inside track on this sort of thing.  And when your days are done you will be with Martha again.”
The stranger moved toward the door.  “If you will excuse me, George, I have to go now.  I have to go home where there is a big celebration planned.”
George watched as the old leather jacket and the torn pants that the stranger was wearing turned into a white robe.  A golden light began to fill to room.
“You see, George … it’s My birthday.  Merry Christmas.”
George fell to his knees and replied, “Happy Birthday, Lord Jesus”
This story is better than any greeting card.
P.S.: If you finished this without a tear in your eye…, you’re a stronger person than I am.
Later Gater.
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND GOD BLESS!

12 Pieces of Christmas Trivia
1. In 1836, Alabama became the first state to recognize December 25 as a legal holiday. It didn’t become a federal holiday until 1870.

2. Because Christmas trees used to be decorated with real candles, people used to keep water-filled containers near their Christmas tree.

3. Workers in the construction industry are responsible for the tradition of having a Christmas tree on display at Rockefeller Center in New York City. They are credited with placing an undecorated tree at the site in the early 1930s.

4. Since the mid-1960s, The National Christmas Tree Association has donated a Christmas tree to the First Family to decorate the White House.

5. The former Woolworth department store first sold manufactured Christmas tree ornaments in 1880.

6. The first mass-produced Christmas greeting card was printed in Britain in the late 1830s.

7. The use of Xmas for Christmas has been used for hundreds of years and is derived from the Greek word ‘Xristos,’ which means Christ.

8. According to the National Confectioners Association, candy canes were white only (no stripes) for about 200 years. The now-familiar red-and-white stripes first started appearing after 1900.

9. Santa’s wife, Mrs. Claus, was first mentioned in print by the poet Katherine Lee Bates, who wrote a poem called “Goody Santa Claus On A Sleigh Ride” in 1889.

10. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was originally written as a promotional giveaway for Montgomery Ward department stores.

11. The real Saint Nicholas was born in the part of the world that is now known as Turkey.

12. The US Congress was in session on Christmas Day, 1789, the first Christmas to be observed under the country’s new constitution.

December 27, 2010
Christmas across the globe
http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/12/christmas_across_the_globe.html


An Iraqi Christian girl attends a Christmas mass at Chaldean Catholic church in Amman, Jordan on December 22, 2010. Thousands of Iraqi Christians fled to neighbouring Jordan following a spate of bombings that targeted churches in Iraqi cities in the past few years. (REUTERS/Ali Jarekji)


A worshiper stands beneath a painting of baby Jesus in the Grotto, where Christians believe Virgin Mary gave birth to Jesus, during her visit to the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, ahead of Christmas December 23, 2010. (REUTERS/Ammar Awad) #


A Hindu man has his forehand painted with a message in Hindi “Happy Christmas” on the river banks of the Ganges river on the eve of Christmas, in the northern Indian city of Allahabad on December 24, 2010. (REUTERS/Jitendra Prakash) #


U.S. military personnel from 103rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) celebrate ahead of Christmas eve, at a military base in Balad, 80 km (50 miles) north of Baghdad on December 24, 2010. (REUTERS/Saad Shalash) #


Pope Benedict XVI holds a candle from his private window, during the unveiling ceremony of the crib in St Peter’s Square at the Vatican, on December 24, 2010. (ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images) #


A man cleans a statue of Jesus Christ on the roof of a church during Christmas, at Noida in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh on December 25, 2010. (REUTERS/Parivartan Sharma) #


Members of the Berlin Seals (Berliner Seehunde) swimming club take a dip in icy Orankesee lake during their traditional Christmas Day ice swim on December 25, 2010 in Berlin, Germany. Club members claim a brief dip inthe chilly waters is healthy and improves blood circulation in the body. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images) #


A man holds a candle in prayer during a Christmas mass in the golden-domed Alexander Nevsky cathedral in central Sofia, Bulgaria on December 25, 2010. Bulgaria, unlike some other fellow Orthodox countries, celebrates Christmas on December 25. (NIKOLAY DOYCHINOV/AFP/Getty Images)

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Christian pilgrims pray in the Church of the Nativity, the site revered as the birthplace of Jesus Christ, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, on Christmas Eve December 24, 2010. (REUTERS/Darren Whiteside) #


Residents of the village of Remedios, 350 Km east of Havana, Cuba, watch fireworks during the traditional “Parrandas” celebration early on the morning of December 25, 2010. Upon the arrival of socialism in Cuba, Christmas celebrations were substituted by the “Parrandas” (Partying) during which the revellers enjoy fireworks and parades of “carrozas” (floats) until the morning. (ADALBERTO ROQUE/AFP/Getty Images) #


Dressed as Santa Claus, Einar Sveinsson of Iceland comforts patient Hasel Sanchez at the emergency room of the Benjamin Bloom Children’s Hospital in San Salvador, El Salvador on Saturday, Dec. 25, 2010. (AP Photo/Luis Romero) #


Palestinian Christian men attend the Christmas day service at the Catholic church in the West Bank village of Zababdah near the northern city of Jenin on December 25, 2010. (SAIF DAHLAH/AFP/Getty Images) #


A young southern Sudanese woman looks into St. Teresa’s Cathedral, where Christmas mass is being held, in Juba, Sudan on December 25, 2010. (REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic) #


Nepalese Christians attend Christmas Eve mass at The Catholic Assumption Church in Lalitpur on the outskirts of Kathamandu, Nepal on December 24, 2010. Less than one percent of the 27 million population in the largely Hindu Himalayan nation are Christian. (PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP/Getty Images) #


Cardinal Roger Mahony leads Christmas mass at The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels December 25, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Eric Thayer/Getty Images) #


Santa Claus distributes sweets to children on the occasion of Christmas, at the hotel Le Meridien in New Delhi, India on Saturday, Dec. 25, 2010. Christians in India make up just over 2 percent of its 1 billion population. (AP Photo/Mustafa Quraishi) #


Eight-year-old Michael Hill, of Davenport, Iowa, sits down after Christmas mass at The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels December 25, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Eric Thayer/Getty Images) #


Franky Lewis from Bondi heads out for a surf at Bondi Beach on December 25, 2010 in Sydney, Australia. (Don Arnold/Getty Images) #


A child dressed as Santa Claus walks during morning Christmas service at a church in Jammu, India on Saturday, Dec. 25, 2010. (AP Photo/Channi Anand) #


A Christmas tree floats along the Yenisei River as members of a local winter swimmers’ club take part in a fancy-dress bathing performance to celebrate the upcoming New Year, with the air temperature at around -21 degrees Celsius (- 5.8 degrees Fahrenheit), in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk on December 26, 2010. (REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin) #


Pakistani Christian women pray during the midnight Christmas service at the Catholic Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on Saturday, Dec. 25, 2010 in Lahore, Pakistan. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary) #


Catholic worshipers leave the St. Esprit Church after a midnight Christmas Mass in Harbiye, downtown Istanbul, Turkey, on December 25, 2010. (MUSTAFA OZER/AFP/Getty Images) #


A man walks past the Bishop’s House lit with Christmas decorations in Washington, D.C. on December 25, 2010. The display of thousands of lights adorned the Tudor-style mini castle and grounds occupied by the leader of the D.C.-based United House of Prayer for All People. (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images) #


Philippine National Police investigators inspect the damage to the Sacred Heart Catholic chapel following an explosion during a Christmas Day Mass Saturday, Dec. 25, 2010 on the volatile island of Jolo, Sulu province in the southern Philippines. A bomb exploded during Christmas Day Mass at this chapel inside a police camp, wounding a priest and 10 churchgoers, officials said Saturday. The improvised explosive device was hidden in a ventilation window close to the ceiling of the chapel, which is located inside a police camp in Jolo town on Jolo Island, a stronghold of al-Qaida-linked militants, Sulu provincial police said. (AP Photo/Nickee Butlangan) #


Myanmar Christians pray as they celebrate Christmas at St. Mary’s Cathedral on Saturday, Dec. 25, 2010, in Yangon, Myanmar. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win) #


Homeless people attend a Christmas mass celebrated in a bus in Nice, southeastern France on December 25 2010. (REUTERS/Eric Gaillard) #


A stuffed animal lies in the mud next to a Christmas tree after flooding December 23, 2010 in Highland, California. Residents throughout southern California were hit hard by storms this week, with one of the hardest hit being Highland with several homes flooded. (Eric Thayer/Getty Images) #


Actors recreate the Nativity scene at a church of Mother Mary Queen of Peace in Lodz, Poland on December 25, 2010. (REUTERS/Marcin Stepien/Agencja Gazeta) #


A man dressed as Santa Claus gives presents to the homeless during a Christmas dinner prior to a mass inside a bus, in Nice, southeastern France, December 25, 2010. (REUTERS/Eric Gaillard) #


An Iraqi child sits playing during the Christmas day service at the Syriac Catholic Church of Our Lady of Deliverance/Salvation (Sayidat al-Nejat), in central Baghdad, on December 25, 2010, two months after a violent attack on worshippers in which 46 people were killed in a hostage situation in the church. (SABAH ARAR/AFP/Getty Images) #


Indonesian children dressed in Santa Claus costumes sing along to Christmas carols in Jakarta, Indonesia on December 26, 2010. (REUTERS/Supri) #


A tourist in a Mrs. Claus t-shirt poses for a photo in front of a Christmas tree which she decorated on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii on December 25, 2010. (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque) #


South Sudanese gather following the Christmas service at the Juba Catholic Cathedral, in the southern Sudan’s capital city on December 25, 2010, in what may be their last Christmas in a unified Sudan. A referendum for southern independence will be held on January 9 and probably lead to the partition of this nation the largest on the African continent. (Trevor Snapp/AFP/Getty Images) #


Bulgarian Patriarch Maxim, center, leads the traditional Christmas Mass at the golden-domed Alexander Nevsky cathedral in downtown Sofia, Bulgaria on Saturday Dec. 25, 2010. (AP Photo / Valentina Petrova) #


A homeless child holds a candle during a street Christmas celebration at Dom Pedro Park in downtown Sao Paulo, Brazil on December 24, 2010. The event was organized by the charitable organisation Alianca da Misericordia. (REUTERS/Nacho Doce) #