On Christmas morning, my wife sent a text message to me and our children with a link to a YouTube video. The beginning of the video showed images from the first Christmas. The audio that played in the background was from the segment of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” where Linus recited the famous passage from the Gospel of Luke: “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them….”
Do you know when the Super Ball was invented? It was invented when I was 7 years old (1964), by chemist Norman Stingley. I first learned about it from seeing commercials on television, which showed the new magical ball soaring into the sky whenever someone threw it against the pavement. I later got to see it in action firsthand after several of my cousins convinced their mothers to buy them their own Super Balls.
In March 1990, I interviewed my grandmother, Cecilia LaHood (Grandma Ceil), for an article I was going to write and distribute at an upcoming 80th birthday party her children were planning for her. Grandma Ceil’s date of birth was April 15, 1910. During the interview, Grandma told me that her family lived in three different houses during the first six years of her life. None of those houses had electricity or hot water. I recorded the interview and later transcribed what Grandma said. Here’s what she told me about their fourth home:
Advent is now upon us. What is Advent? It’s a time of waiting, a time of preparation — spiritual preparation for the anniversary of the coming of Jesus Christ. Instead of making spiritual preparations during Advent, many of us get caught up in the demands of everyday living. Any extra time that we have is spent on the material preparations that have become an annual tradition, such as buying gifts, decorating our homes and work areas, planning parties, and baking treats.