A Grumps View of Christmas 2018

That’s me…

This is December and Christmas is coming just as it does every year 
For some, it is a time of rejoicing and to celebrate the Birth of Christ.
For others it is family reunions and turkey and Christmas trees and presents, lots of presents.
It is that time when entire families will go into debt and then spend the rest of the year paying it off only to begin again with the following Christmas.
Presents are opened and in many cases, the contents are often put to one side and never used or are exchanged for something more “useful”.
There is no thought behind the giving and none on the receiving.
These are not presents of love but of necessity.
Shops are decorated to promote the Christmas festivities and Christmas music is everywhere.
Somewhere another Christmas tree dies as it is cut from its roots.
There is way too much Christmas music and the ultimate goal of promoting the Christmas Spirit is to get the unwary to spend their money.
Did I mention there is way too much Christmas music
Christmas is Big Business and can make or break any one of them.
Some people will respect the religious significance but those people go to Church every Sunday.
Others will get religion for a day.
Much food and drink will be consumed and wasted and the the homeless will go hungry.
To them, it is just another day in the fight to stay alive.
Old people with few resources will rely on others for a meal and others will oblige because it is Christmas.
Christmas can bring out the best and the worst of human nature.
Many will give while others will steal.
And so it goes year in and year out.
Such is Human Nature.

Written 12/8/2018

It’s That Time of Year Again…


Christmas Lights

It’s that time of year again
when the world a little crazy goes
the houses all put on a show
to best their neighbor all aglow
with Christmas lights the house festooned
no rhyme nor reason to the theme
Santa’s in sleighs with reindeer in tow
galloping forward with nowhere to go
Jolly snowmen standing where there is no snow
and lights a twinkle and all aglow.


Decorated Tree

Indoors is a Christmas Tree
festooned with lights and sprinkled snow
and under the tree are many gifts
for the children sleeping now
waiting to see what Santa has brought
in the morning all aglow
only the babies really believe
that Santa left the gifts they receive
for the older kids know full well
that Mom and Dad delivered them all.

Christmas Lights

Christmas Lights

It matters not from whence they came
just so long as it is their gain
and is the thing they want the most
at least until tomorrow comes
when something else will catch their eye
remembering Christmas of my youth
at the end of Christmas day
the empty boxes were more fun to play
maybe because they would soon be gone
and then the presents would remain
there for me another day..

Lots of Lights

Lots of Lights

Merry Christmas

My Thoughts on How Christmas Has Changed

Horse Drawn Sleigh

Horse Drawn Sleigh of Christmas past.

I know that I am not alone
when I think how times have changed
and not so many years ago
Christmas had a different tone

First and foremost it was a time
to celebrate an important birth
when Jesus came into the world
not knowing of problems here on earth.

His role as yet unknown to him
was to save the spirit of mankind
to save our souls and forgive our sins
and help us lead a better life.

Over the years long since that time
more than 2000 years ago
man still celebrates the birth
but now it is a different show.

The simple task of giving thanks
for God‘s only begotten Son
has now almost been replaced
with material things that are the one.

Christmas now is not the same
and has turned into a game
of who gives or who gets the most
so that they to their friends can boast.

The winners of this awful mess
are the retailers who own the stores
as more and more they want you to spend
and into debt to go once more.

It will take a year to pay it off
just in time for Christmas due
and then with plastic hot in hand
back to the stores to start anew.

The simple Christmas of long ago
has long since been outgrown
and lasts at least a month or more
with all the trips to the stores.

The sad truth is that so many gifts
are useful for only a very short time
and then if you are a little kid
the cardboard boxes can provide more joy.

The bottom line of this story is
that we all need to remember in time
that Christmas is not about gifts and things
but of your neighbor who may not be so fine

Or maybe that homeless guy down the street
the one you see every day
he could probably use your help
to get him better on his way

Someone who wants or could really use
a helping hand in time of need
and one less gift to a family or friend
could be the answer for them indeed.

So when you next go to the store
for the umpteenth time with gifts galore
ask yourself, “Do I really need
to buy yet another gift, or is it greed”.

I am not a stupid man
nor unintelligent in my thinking too
I know that life moves on
and with it goes the things we knew

Which includes memories of Christmas past
when life was at a different pace
and time moved slower than it does today
and money for gifts was too scarce to waste.

Things will never be the same
as we have advanced to a different age
of computers and cell phones and video games
and all of these things are all the rage

Come Christmas Day the kids on the block
will not be looking in their socks
they will be playing with electronic toys
showing their Dad’s how to make things fly.

As some of the Dad’s will not have a clue
as the kids are in front in what they do
and electronic gadgets are ahead of the game
and life will never be the same.

Do I want to go back to the “Good old days”
maybe I do in so many ways
I would like life to be slower and not move so fast
it’s as though every day is the last.

But I like computers and cell phones and such
and we could not be in this age we are in
without time moving on at such a fast clip
even though Christmas of old is a blip

On the radar of life as it passes by
2000 years ago, a star in the sky
signalled the start of a celestial age
and Jesus was born with a Star on his page.

This modern age and the reason for the story...

This modern age and the reason for the story…

Austin Pond Society Christmas Dinner

The folks who attended

The folks who attended

The last meeting of the year for the Austin Pond Society was their Christmas Dinner held in the usual confines of the Zilker Gardens Meeting Rooms this past November 19. This was a pot luck as they usually are but with Roast Beef, Chicken Skewers and Salmon provided by the Pond Society and cooked by Sonya O’Sullivan who is our new Hospitality person.

There were about 45 members present all of whom brought some sort of dish so there was lots of food and drink to go round. I personally held it down a little as regards the size of my plate but it sure was a big temptation to go back for seconds and maybe thirds. The choice of deserts was out of this world and very tempting.

APS Board Members

APS Board Members

We had very little business except to vote in the members who will make up the new board. As this was done by acclamation, we got it done very quickly. The members are very grateful for those who are stepping down for the work they have done this past year. Most meeting groups are only as good as the volunteers who take the time to serve in different capacities on the board and we were lucky as we had a fantastic group.


Decorating the Christmas Tree

Several of the members were decorating a Christmas tree in competition with other organizations that are associated with Zilker Gardens. Sad to say, we were not among the prize winners.

Jeannie Ferrier had a game prepared for everyone to join in. It consisted of a sheet of paper on which were a list of questions and the goal was to get other members to provide you with an answer. You were supposed to introduce yourself prior to asking the member if they could help you. B.J. turned in the winning sheet getting all of her questions answered in record time. Me, I think I may have gotten three answered in the time allotted. Oh well, guess I am not the game type…Of course, I was busy taking pictures or at least that is my excuse.

With business out-of-the-way, Bill gave the order to get in line which as you can see by the pictures below were quickly followed by everyone except myself and Glen Hubenthal as we were busy taking pictures. We both got to eat a little later and did not miss out.

Everyone brought a gift which were placed together and then names were drawn. When you won, you had your choice of selecting any of the gifts from the table. Everyone had their name drawn at least once with some lucky people, twice.

All in all, it was a fun time and everyone got to enjoy, good companionship and good food. Our next meeting will be held next year on January 21, 2013. Hope to see you all there and maybe if you know of other Pond owners, you can drag them along. I’m sorry, I mean encourage them to come and join in the fun.

Oh yes, Happy Holidays to one and all and be careful out there. See you all next year.