Merry Christmas

This editorial cartoon, courtesy of Cagle Cartoons, appeared on Page A9 of the Dec. 24, 2021 print edition of The Herald.

Winter Solstice 2021 

Dear Editor:

Winter Solstice is a time of light being born into darkness and light leading the way for our inner consciousness, to come into our daily life.

Our belief for a better world, especially for the safety of Mother Earth, wildlife, children and us.

With love, peace and mercy we are being reborn, a new beginning for us all. Birth is the deepest fulfillment life can give us. We pray all spiritual and living beings help guide us to a new consciousness of caring for each other and our human existence on Mother Earth.

We are easily drawn into our culture of endless consumption, it’s a myth of progress and economic growth — it’s now become a global/human disaster. Creation tells us we are all ONE.

Inner prayer with love, peace and understanding. we’ll lead us and our galaxy to a better life for all living creatures.

The outer world will not save us. It’s our responsibility to carry the light. Inner peace to all living creatures on Mother Earth.

With peace & love,

Rick and Julia Valenti


Santa faces challenges due to climate change

Dear Editor:

The skies are clear from clouds this Christmas Eve,

The stars above light up the way along with twinkling lights on earth below

Santa’s elves prepare his sleigh for his yearly flight, equipped with pontoons and skis guided by Rudolph’s red-nosed guiding light.

The devastation down below makes landing in flood water mixed with mud difficult with little roof top snow.

To find the children evacuated from many homes is a huge task.

Teary-eyed Santa turned to God and asked for help to find the children as daylight is near, the stars that guide Rudolph will soon disappear!

Santa’s call for help was answered by God who sent angels who found the children fast asleep and dreaming, in a makeshift bed.

Back home and weary Santa sighed, while looking up with a twinkle in his soft blue eyes.

Santa thanked God and Angels for their help surprising displaced children with gifts at this yearly special event.

Merry Christmas and a hopeful Happy New Year to all!

Tom Isherwood


Oranges, onions perfect for the holiday season

Dear Editor:

While in a grocery store, I was selecting oranges from a tilted display counter. One orange slipped through my fingers, fell to the floor and rolled under a high-backed produce bin, which was positioned at the end of two aisles.

I bent down and looked under the bin, but could not see the runaway orange.

When I noticed the bin had wheels, I acted impulsively. I pulled the bin toward me so I could reveal and retrieve the wily orange.  

Unknown to me, there was a large display of onions at the end of the adjacent aisle.

Many of those onions were being held in place by the back of the aforementioned bin.

When onions started tumbling on the floor, I instantly realized my mistake and pushed the bin back to its original location.

The waterfall of onions immediately dried up. 

When I went around the corner into the next aisle, a woman with a partially-filled shopping cart blurted out, “Why are all these onions on the floor?” I smiled sheepishly and picked them up as fast as I could.

When I mentioned the ‘incident’ to one of the store’s staff she chuckled and said, “You’d be surprised what we find under there.” 

Next time they look, I know for certain they will find at least one orange, several onions and a large portion of my self-esteem. Thank goodness I was wearing a face mask.

Enjoy the festive season, safely.

Lloyd Atkins


How Boxing Day came to get its name

Dear Editor:

Most of us will likely think of Boxing Day as an extra day off or a day when stores will hold a discount sale or both. But how did it originate and why Boxing Day?

Several hundred years ago in England, aristocratic and wealthy families lived in large mansions similar to those seen in films and TV shows such as “Downton Abbey.” These buildings needed a small army of servants to keep them clean, attend to the wood fires needed to heat the rooms and other domestic chores, plus cooks and kitchen staff to prepare meals for both the family and the servants.

Christmas Day was a working day for the staff who would attend to their usual chores and serve Christmas dinner to the family. The following day, December 26th, was a day off for the servants and the members of the family would serve them a Christmas dinner (likely prepared by the kitchen staff the previous day.)

A custom developed where there was a special room in the house which was off limits to the servants. There was a single key which was kept by the matriarch of the house. In this room were a number of named boxes, one for each servant. In the run up to Christmas, each member of the family was expected to visit this room and place a small gift in each box.

After the servants’ Christmas dinner was over, these boxes were brought into the room where the meal had been served and each box was given to the servant whose name was on the box. Thus Boxing Day was the day that each servant received his or her Christmas box.

Growing up in England in the years immediately after the Second World War, I can recall my mother giving a Christmas gratuity to the people who normally made deliveries to the house — postman, garbage collector, milkman, baker and others.

This gratuity (normally in the form of cash) was always referred to as their “Christmas Box” even though no actual box was involved.

Brian Butler