December has truly passed us quickly and now we are on the final countdown to Christmas next Tuesday.

December has truly passed us quickly and now we are on the final countdown to Christmas next Tuesday.

This week has been a great one as I, along with other men of the community, have attended the 66th Annual Neosho Laymen’s League Pre-Christmas Services at the Bible Holiness Assembly of God Church. The music, the speakers and the atmosphere truly do put you in the mood for Christmas. The event ends on Friday and is held from 6-7 a.m. at the church.

I am almost done with my Christmas shopping, just a few presents left for Tina and the traditional stocking stuffers.
Like a lot of us, Christmas is a special time for me. I enjoy seeing family and friends during this time. And there are a lot of memories that go with Christmas.

I know that I have shared this memory with the readers before, but for some, they may not have heard this one. So here goes.

For as long as I can remember, on Christmas Eve, the family would always go to Nanny and Popa (Garner’s) house for food, fellowship and yes, handing out Christmas gifts. When I walked inside the house, there was the smell of little barbecued weenies, popcorn, candy and a fire on those cold days. Nanny’s house was always decorated both inside and outside with Christmas lights, ornaments on the trees and even mistletoe near the kitchen/living room.

But just sitting there will always be a treasure. Hearing how Christmases were done in the past to where family members were going to travel and what Greg and I would be doing if Newtonia had 3, 4 or even 6 feet of snow on the ground.

After filling our tummies, and opening the gifts, it was back to Mom and Dad’s house. There, we would open the gifts that each of us had purchased for one another. Then around 10 p.m., we watched the news. Each news station had their own “Santa Tracking” device, fixed on Santa and his reindeer. You know, it is amazing how fast Santa can travel!

There was one particular Christmas Eve that I will never forget; I was about 7 or 8 years old. Greg and I would not go to bed on Christmas Eve. Mom and Dad tried everything to get us asleep. As Mom was in our bedroom – and Dad in the front room watching TV – we heard someone on the snowy roof. Mom said, ‘you hear that? I bet that it is Santa Claus.’
She was right. Pretty soon, we heard “Ho Ho Ho, Merry Christtttttttttttttmas.” Santa had slipped on the ice/snow on the roof and traveled down a few feet, catching himself before falling on the ground below.

You know what Greg and I did? We quickly went to bed. Thank goodness Santa Claus was fine.

The next morning, we awoke and walked into the family room, where the Christmas tree was decorated, with gifts under the tree and stockings near the fireplace.

Santa Claus had definitely been there – and survived his brush of sliding down the roof for a few feet.

As I end this column, I wanted to say a very special “Merry Christmas,” to my family and friends. To them and all of you, have a safe and happy holiday.

Todd G. Higdon is a staff writer and writes a weekly column for the Neosho Daily News. He can be reached at