‘Tis the season that’s hard not to ignore

Published 4:56 pm Tuesday, December 19, 2023

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Whether you believe deep inside your heart that a jolly old elf from deep within the snowy confines of the North Pole makes an annual trek around the world to deliver special gifts, or if you celebrate Dec. 25 as the birth of Jesus Christ…or both…or perhaps neither…it’s hard not to feel that something special is in the air as the current year draws closer to a conclusion.

The sights and sounds of the season are all around us.

As we make our way to and from work or other destinations, we are greeted with the colorful displays of the holiday season. Some opt to fill their yards with lights and displays of Santa and his reindeer, the star of Bethlehem, and so forth. Houses are outlined in festive lights, and window blinds are open to reveal Christmas trees.

Main Street of our local towns feature Christmas lights and displays.

Within our local schools, children engage in traditional salutes to the holiday, most featuring the songs of the season.

And while on the subject of Christmas inspired music, our ears are treated to those songs as we listen to the radio in our vehicles.

When we arrive at home and settle down for the evening, we flip on the TV where we find seasonal programming. That includes traditional Christmastime favorites such as It’s a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, A Christmas Carol, The Little Drummer Boy, A Christmas Story, Elf, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, White Christmas, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Frosty the Snowman, The Polar Express, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Home Alone, Jack Frost, Scrooged, Prancer, and A Charlie Brown Christmas.

And then there’s an endless assortment of Hallmark holiday movies that appear the have the same theme with different characters…a single woman who is a small business operator (or looking to buy a small business in a small rural town that’s located where it always snows at Christmas). There’s a giant corporation looking to steal the town’s innocent charm by buying up all the property. Meanwhile, our heroine (the small business owner) is involved in a fragile relationship with the wrong guy. However, she meets Mr. Right (who is typically a dashingly handsome blue collar worker that has lived in the small town for his entire life). He sweeps her off her feet, but a family crisis distracts her attention. Just as she’s about to leave to handle the crisis, a miracle happens. She remains in place and lives happily ever after with her newfound love.

But of all the sights and sounds of the season, the one I enjoy the most – other than spending time with my family – is reading all the letters to Santa that are published annually by this newspaper.

Every year, in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, I notify our local elementary schools to remind them that we wish to publish letters to Santa from their students. Once received and typed, we forward those letters to the North Pole just in time for Santa to read and load his sleigh appropriately.

This tradition has been followed by this newspaper long before I arrived in the newsroom. It’s something we look forward to each and every year and we thank our local advertisers for helping us publish our annual Christmas Greetings section, which is inserted as part of today’s edition.

The following are my favorite letters this year:

“….Can you bring my mommy that “special” gift that she’s been asking for? You know the one that she talks about all the time, she’ll be so happy if she gets it. Please stay warm at the North Pole and Be safe.” Azlyn

“This year I have been a very good boy. I used all my manners. I also ate all my veggies. For Christmas I would like a big, big toy robot.” Macario

“I have good days and few bad days, but I’m trying to do better. For Christmas I would like for you to bring me a Monster Truck and a school bus.” Bryson

“Some of the nice things I did were cleaning my room and doing good at church. My Christmas wish list is a tractor, trailer, tools and handcuffs.” Memphis

“My Christmas wish list is anything Spiderman, Paw Patrol, Super Pets, Hulk, Superman, a new bed, clothes, shoes and hats. Oh Yeah, and did I say ANYTHING SPIDERMAN.” Greycian

“The nice things I have done was go to church. I love going to school. My Christmas wish list is Spiderman watch, football, shoes, Spiderhat.” Omar

“Please bring me a Spiderman drum set. Can you bring my dad some lotion. Thank you.” Jaxon

“I love you Santa and I’m your favorite favorite friend.” Nevaeh

“I would like a Blue four wheeler, a basketball goal and lots of clothes and shoes Nike Jordans. I would also like lots of snacks. I perefer (sp) Reeses cup. Thank you so much Santa this would really make me Happy. Merry Christmas.” Corey

“….. I like Christmas time because I am on the good list.” Harley

“This year I have been naughty and nice.” Keyaam

“I have been good, so I hope that I am put on your nice list.” Ke’Niyah

“All I want for Christmas is 100 hot wheels cars.” Elijah

“I would like an Ipad and a Credit Card.” Ivan

“I would like pepperoni pizza, new shoes, and a Barbie doll.” MihKyla

“I will like for my mom to be alive because I Love my mom and I will like a phone and a dog and I will like a book. I hope you can come. I Love you Santa.” AyeSha

“My own bmw so I can drive to target.” Laila

“I’d like a dirt bike and a dog. Thank you.” Brayln

“What I want for Christmas is no school is December and $1,000 and 5,000 toys and to be good at math and reading.” Kamai’ya

“I want a house and 10 more shoes and 10 billion dollars,” Sarah

Personally, I agree with Sarah….10 billion bucks would be extra special!!

Merry Christmas to all!

Cal Bryant is the Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact him at cal.bryant@r-cnews.com or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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