Memories come alive at Christmas
It always struck me as peculiar how my memory grabs me around Christmas time. But, nevertheless, it grabs me big time. A remembrance of memories and regrets come back home to roost.
Many years ago, I made a crucial mistake. I didn't always appreciate the moment-so much for foolish youth. Because of it, I know now I missed some of the best moments of my life.
Totally and unquestionably, the moments I miss most: I miss Grandma's hugs, I miss my old pet who always loved me unconditionally, I miss the rotating rotund Santa Claus that whirled and twirled inside the window at the drugstore in downtown Hartselle.
How many of you actually still remember it? It was a charming display of reassurance around Christmas time. Today, multitudes of people will live on sarcasm and cynicism. There's no optimism in that.
I miss basic optimism we all used to have. I miss the laid-back atmosphere the people in the city of Hartselle shared. It's obsolete now.
Today, people don't take the time to blow their noses, much less be courteous and polite. It's all hustle and bustle.
I miss nice and slow. I miss the non-commercial Christmases we used to have. Advertisements weren't in your face.
It was never about who bought what anyway. Of course, most people back then hadn't metamorphosed into artificiality yet. I hope this doesn't sound too trivial. I hope you appreciate the moments in your life. Once again, I'll thank God for tender moments and tender memories.
Jesus is reason for the season
As this year has rolled around again and again, we find ourselves at the holiday season.
For some, it's a difficult time. Others seem full of joy and kindness for all they meet.
How wonderful it would be if we could all reach out in the love that we shared so many years ago through the birth of Jesus.
I realize that none of us know exactly when Jesus was born, yet this day ahead has been set aside to celebrate His birth.
I feel that's what's important-He was born and He died on a cross for man's sin.
And He's coming again. All He asks of us is that we believe.
I hope that this Christmas you see more smiles, share more joy, and experience more love. This is what Jesus came to share with us.
We will experience all of this when we accept Him and His forgiveness.
This can't be a bad thing when we know what Christmas is really about. That's the true giving, the true gift.
May the enclosed words express your Christmas as they do mine.
A cool night, stars shining bright,
One star that we keep in sight.
As we parallel time present, time past,
What makes the first one continue to last.
A love so great, it took two forward in time,
A child was born, the future of mankind.
Born in a difficult situation, a dreary space,
Not a kingdom with finery, not a royal place.
In those moments, quiet and still,
God's presence was there, this was His will.
His Son was sent into the world to show,
Eternal life, Savior, Redeemer, to know.
Jesus came to teach us to serve others,
Love all as sisters and brothers.
Forgiving as He forgives, seeking to do His will,
Following His example, a plan to fulfill.
Learning that wealth is within,
Sharing what we have, over and over again.
Jesus is the gift that keeps on and on,
Love that carries us, directing us home.
As we parallel that first Christmas,
What do we feel, what do we see?
Love, joy, peace, knowing Jesus-
That's Christmas to me.
Chief thanks city for toy support
To the citizens of Hartselle and surrounding communities, we thank you.
I hope that everyone had a Merry Christmas. Thanks to you and your support for the "Toys for Tots" program, many children in North Alabama were able to wake up Christmas morning and see that Santa had not forgotten them.
This was the best year that we have had for collections. The Marines were here daily to empty the boxes. Several times they ran over.
On behalf of everyone at Hartselle Fire, we want to wish you and your loved ones a safe and happy New Year.
May God bless each and everyone and, again, thank you.
Rickey Joe Smith, Chief
Hartselle Fire and Rescue