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WITandWISDOM(tm) - December 24, 2003
ISSN 1538-8794

~~~~~~~ THOUGHTS:

Sometimes the squeaky wheel gets oiled, sometimes it gets replaced.

Source: Absolute Humor, http://absoluterobeo.com


Some fifty years ago on Christmas Eve my father was murdered, and twenty years later my older brother committed suicide. So Christmas had turned sort of sour for me.

We stopped at a mall on the way home from my son's home in Denver, and while my wife was doing her shopping, I was sitting in the mall feeling sad and a little sorry for myself when I looked up to see a little boy of three or four watching me.

He came over to me and gave me a small piece of hard candy and looking deeply into my eyes smiled as he said, "Merry Christmas."

Looking around his father called for him to come back where he belonged. The little boy smiled slyly and ran back to his parents.

I went out of the store and got into my car and cried.

The look in that child's eyes and that wonderful gesture touched me more deeply than I can tell you.

It was one of those Itty-Bitty Things but was one of the most important things anybody has ever done for me.

I remember my mother telling me when I was young that "A little child will lead us." It is true.

If I'm still around next year, I'll be looking forward to Christmas for the first time in many years.

By MountainWings subscriber Wayne in Colorado

Source: MountainWings Daily Inspiration, http://www.mountainwings.com/

~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:

Writing that annual holiday letter can be so draining. With all the gift-shopping, baking, partying and holiday school events, who had time to condense 365 days of accomplishments, promotions and big deals into one page, let alone add a dose of pathos? So we've made the job simpler for you, with 55 ways to write a holiday letter, something akin to Mad-Libs. Just use this form as a guide and fill in the blanks.

By Deb Accord, Knight Ridder News Service

Happy Holidays from ____________________,
(your name here)

Dear ____________________,
(family member)(friend)(outlaw)

Well, 2003 has been a ____________________
(monumental)(life-altering)(misdemeanor- filled)

Year, what with the ____________________
(universe)(gas line)(wine bottle)

exploding ____________________;
(in the refrigerator)(down the block)(in the basement)

the announcement that ____________________
(Grandma)(Buster)(the philodendron)

won the ____________________;
(Nobel Prize)(Powerball)(bowling tournament)

the amazing ____________________
(mansion)(spaceship)(Ferris wheel)

that we ____________________

in the ____________________;
(desert)(basement)(amusement park)

and the shocking announcement that ____________________.
(Grandma is a man)(our marriage isn't legal)(our children were switched at birth)

First, the house. As you may recall, last year, after the big ____________________,
(typhoon)(real-estate boom)(aluminum-siding scandal)

we had to completely ____________________.
(remodel)(rethink our belief that leather furniture is where it's at)(shave our heads)

Then, one morning, we were surprised by a knock on the door. It was ____________________,
(the Publishers Clearing House prize patrol)(the mayor)(the former head of WorldCom)

telling us we had just won ____________________.
($10 million)(two free tickets to the Cub Scout carnival)(a free cruise, a mini-TV wet, $50 case or a box of microwave popcorn)

It was a wonderful prize, amounting to $ ____________________
(millions)(a few thousand)(a great experience)

after taxes, and it allowed us to add on that tennis complex we had always wanted.

The children are ____________________.
(thriving)(rap stars)(getting fat)

(The sanest)(The ex-con)(The one that's tall)

has been accepted at ____________________.
(Harvard)(The Ringling Bros. And Barnum & Bailey Circus)(McDonald's Hamburger University)

It was a tough choice for her, as she was ____________________

by six different ____________________.

__ __________________
(The youngest)(Our other child)(The one who doesn't speak much)

is busy at his ____________________
(computer games)(crocheting)(bonsai-tending)

nearly every day after school,

but he still finds time to ___________, ___________, ___________, ___________, ___________.
(Choose five: design his own line of clothing)(make his signature oatmeal-sunflower bread)(train for the Boston Marathon)(write another chapter of his novel)(keep up with the ever-changing story line of "The Young and the Restless.")(surf eBay to add to his collection of used packing peanuts)(wander aimlessly at the mall)

As ____________________
(dictator)(supreme leader)(shakiest)

of the family, ____________________
(Pop)(Mr. Fancy Pants)(the one formerly called Dad)

has had a tumultuous year.

After finding out he won the ____________________,
(10-minute shopping spree at the 7-Eleven)(tastes-like-Spam cooking contest)(lottery)

he was caught ____________________
(driving 67 in a 35-mph zone)(enrolling in a power yoga class)(watching "The Bachelor")

and spent ____________________
(several months)(a week)(forever)

in ____________________.
((the bathroom)(the county jail)(therapy)

But his media exposure from ____________________
(his appearance on "American Idol")(his newly published book, "Cable RV for Dummies")(his 390-pound weight loss)

helped with his ____________________,
(self-esteem)(back)(pursuit of happiness)

and soon he was back ____________________.
(on the golf course)(at the casino)(making doughnuts)

My life has been equally ____________________.

After helping stage the ____________________,
("Victoria's Secret Fashion Show")(green bean casserole cook-off)(bikini snowshoe race)

shown on national RV, I was asked to dinner at ____________________.
The White House)(the Osbournes)(Al Gore's house)

That night at dinner, ____________________
(Oprah Winfrey)(a champion fire eater)(my great- aunt)

approached me with a book offer,

and moments later, ____________________
(Bill Clinton)(Santa Clause)(Pamela Anderson)

was at my side, trying to talk me into ____________________.
(making a speech)(downing an extra slice of chocolate cake)(a moonlit bike ride)

Of course, I said ____________________.
(no)(yes)(why did you ever think I liked chocolate cake?)

Everything seemed to change after I got the ____________________.
(botox injections)(new hip)(persimmon-red BMW)

People I hadn't heard from in years began ____________________.
(calling)(stopping by)(moving in)

As a family, we ____________________ this year.
(went vegan)(started a rock band)(tried not to say the word "cool")

That trip to ____________________
(the summit of Mount Everest)(Centralia)(the Academy Awards ceremony)

was exciting, as was the ____________________
(cruise)(bike ride)(barefoot hike)

around the ____________________.

Hope your year has been ____________________.
(stupendous)(arrest-free)(365 days)

If you get a chance, ____________________;
(stop by)(come on over)(drive by slowly and look in the window)

You's find ___________ and ___________.
(Choose two: peace)(a mean game of Jenga)(a hairless dog)(the question to the answer "Because it's there")(a collection of every Disney video ever made in VHS format)

Source: The Oregonian, Copyright (c) December 19, 2002, http://www.oregonian.com/

Submitted by Barbara Henry


"People will believe anything if you whisper it."

Source: Heart Touchers, http://www.hearttouchers.com

~~~~~~~ TRIVIA:

A collection of U.S. Government graphics and photos, most of which are copyright-free.


Source: The Pocket Newsletter, http://www.thepocket.com

WITandWISDOM™ ISSN 1538-8794 - Copyright © 1998-2003 by Richard G. Wimer - All Rights Reserved
Any questions, comments or suggestions may be sent to Richard G. Wimer.