Yesterday's Magazette

13 – Two Short Holiday Memories

Gift of Lights

By Melba Holberg

Every year when Christmas comes, bringing with it a time of reflection, my mind flashes back to that Christmas in 1926 when I first saw colored Christmas lights.

Electricity was still in its youth in my little hometown, and few people enjoyed its use. There were no street lights and the only nightlights that I was accustomed to seeing were the scattered stars.

Our family had been to the annual Christmas Eve pageant at the church. We were walking home with our hands filled with gifts of goodies, our minds occupied with visions of the Christ Child, and our hearts filled with anticipation of the magic of Santa Claus which was yet to come.

Suddenly, before us appeared a galaxy of colored lights, the most beautiful sight I had ever seen. The sky seemed literally ablaze with colors. We gazed in awe at the huge water tower which had been decorated with Christmas lights, a gift from the city fathers.

Friends and neighbors from all over the little town of Edna gathered in the roads surrounding that tower, and with eyes pointed upward wondered at the magic which created such a view.

The worshipful silence which permeated the atmosphere that night was a truly unforgettable experience to an eight- year-old child.

A Holiday Memory

By Cynthia Trem

“You can do it,” they called as they slalomed by.  “You can do it, Mum.  You can ski.  See, it’s easy!”  Yes, it looked easy, and it looked fun but my children were pre-teens and I was – well, many, many years past my teens and I had never skied in my life.

We were in Banff  National Park on a cold but sunny holiday. As children do, my two had effortlessly, and miraculously to me, taken to the slopes with no hesitation or trepidation. After a morning of wondering about joining them, I bravely ventured out armed with my skis and poles.

The ground appeared even, the snow was soft and powdery and the skis looked, thankfully, mostly flat.  All I had to do was strap them on, grab a pole in each hand and push. How proud the children would be as they watched me glide elegantly over the white snow, with knees flexed, hips swaying lithely, feet and knees  in faultless control,  skis whispering a gentle hiss as they flew down the white slope. The respect they would have for me, their mother, the skier. I strapped, I stood, I grabbed the poles firmly and I pushed.

I had once read that there are 206 bones in the human body. I felt every one of them as I lay prostrate ten feet away from blast off. I  had experienced one of the fundamental forces in nature that affect new skiers, the force of gravity. An irresistible force, me, had met an immovable object, the ground. There had been no time to execute a controlled pre-fall when the skis crossed,  but I heard a pre-scream and some uncontrolled profanity.

“You can do it,” said my children later as they helped me up on to my feet. “Even you can learn to ski.” Yes, in time I did learn, and I became a skier. I even graduated from the learner bunny slopes.


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