Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas Star

Christmas is getting close. I can tell it in the looks of people I see; they all look like they're under stress, like they haven't bought enough. That includes my wife, who is very organized, but leaves some things until the last minute. Me? I'm about as ready as I'm going to be, which is that I'm probably not ready, but I've done the next best thing: I've given up.

Switching gears in an abrupt transition: One of the things I like about the front and back covers of this 1950 issue of Blue Book, which I found in a used bookstore a couple of years ago, is the complete lack of the commercial aspect of Christmas. There's no religious aspect, either. Not only that, except for the word "Christmas" in the lower right corner of the front cover, you wouldn't know this scene represented Christmas at all. My guess is that the editor had the cover artwork, painted by an artist named Maurice Bower, and decided it would go great on a December issue. For its lack of Christmas elements, I like it as a Christmas picture.Inside there's at least one Christmas story, "Christmas Star," by John L. Normoyle. It's a Christmas miracle-style short, set in Belgium on Christmas Eve during the Battle of the Bulge. Some American soldiers are lost in the forest, and had been hit by an artillery bombardment from German guns. One boy is wounded in the face by shrapnel, but helps his sarge find his way back to their own lines by using the "Christmas star" to guide him. The last paragraph has some other soldiers talking, saying the young man had died after leading his sergeant back. The other soldier says the kid couldn't have led anyone, because his wounds had blinded him.Excuse me, but I need a hanky now. Honnnnnk. Sniff…sniff…these kinds of stories always make me kinda…well, you know. Sad. The illustration for the story was done by an artist named Brendan Lynch.


Our granddaughter, Bella, stayed with us last night. Bella has so much fun playing with her grandma she doesn't like to go to bed. Here she is, hanging on to her last moments of consciousness before finally succumbing to sleep. Love those snowman jammies, which you'll be able to see better if you click on the picture for its full-size image.Earlier in the evening Bella went with us to a local store; Sally picked up a couple of presents for Bella and her sister, Gabby, but Bella didn't seem to even notice. I think this will be the last year that she'll be unaware of Christmas. She'll be three on December 29, and by next Christmastime she should be all pumped for a visit from Santa.

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