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From the Hammer Family!

SushiGal, Numero,
Noah, Cody, Luke
and Ethel the Shih-tzu
all wish you a very happy holiday season.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to:


MaryAnn1 & Hart
starsky & Neon
Greymire & Alison
MrsSarge & the late Sarge (we miss you Geoff)
Patty-cake & Wally
BakPak & Sandy
D_Anne & Cass
Roo & Worm
dirtdog & DD's_Lady
OldDog & Judy
Krunky, a.k.a. catwoman

THE BBs!!:

Cranky Critter


Diane, class of 1976
Franny, class of 1960
Gerry, class of 1969
Greg, class of 1971 (my Jr. High crush! lol)
Jim/James, class of 1960
Lynn, class of 1965
Mr. Keller (the kewlest Biology teacher EVER!)
Pat, class of 1968
Sharon, class of 1966
Sonia, class of 1965
Susan, class of 1958


Erik & Robin
Carol Ann
Kaytie (my future daughter-in-law, haha)
Gary, Melissa, Brianna & Riley (my stepson and family in Florida!)
Mary (my "mom" in Arkansas)
Floyd & Regeina
Delain & Rhonda
Charlotte & Larry
Grace, my e-pal who lives in Nairobi, Kenya, East Africa
Karen & Bert
Scott & Yvonne
Bev (in Alaska!)
Mark & Renee
Colleen & Kirk
Leif & Ingegerd, our cousin and his wife in Sweden!
Brenda, a cousin who I found doing a genealogy family search
Marion, an old high school friend, just recently found again
Terrie & Dale
Katie & Gavin
Bev & Brian
Lisa & Keith
Carolyn & Charlie
Dennis & Jan
Ernie & Becky
John & Diane
Cal & Noreen
Keith (SuperFunSoapMan)

Alberto Achille Ricardo Michele Larese de Pol Vecellio Patis

Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus

Editorial Page, New York Sun, 1897

We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:

Dear Editor---

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, "If you see it in The Sun, it's so." Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O'Hanlon

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the scepticism of a sceptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to have men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

The Night Before Christmas

by Clement Clarke Moore

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads.
And Mama in her kerchief, and I in my cap,
had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap.

When out on the roof there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
tore open the shutter, and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
gave the lustre of midday to objects below,
when, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
but a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles, his courses they came,
and he whistled and shouted and called them by name:

"Now Dasher! Now Dancer!
Now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid!
On, Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch!
To the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away!
Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
when they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky
so up to the house-top the courses they flew,
with the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
the prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head and was turning around,
down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
and his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
and he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes--how they twinkled! His dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
and the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
and the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
that shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
and I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
and filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
and giving a node, up the chimney he rose.

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all fly like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,

"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!!"


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