The carols are sung, the gifts unwrapped, the turkey devoured — all signs that Christmas has once again come and gone. But memories of this holiday will last a long time due in no small part to the friends we share it with.
As we have done for many years we spent Christmas Eve in the Plaza. Hundreds of people gather to wait for Santa’s arrival. It’s been a tradition in this little desert town since 1916. Night deepens. Church services end and even more people pour out onto the streets. Suddenly a small burst of fireworks announces Santa’s arrival. All eyes turn to the old Curley School up the hill. And there he is. The man of the night, standing in the bell tower surrounded by Christmas lights, waving to the crowd.
A few minutes later he arrives downstairs, climbs up onto his sleigh and makes his way down to the main square. People line the roadway and the Plaza, waving and smiling. Cameras flash. Children giggle and smile. The lineup to visit Santa is long but there’s no complaining. Parents and children wait patiently. Meanwhile the rest of us visit friends, listen to the carols, sip hot chocolate and enjoy the spirit that surrounds us.
We didn’t do our usual Trash Can Turkey on the desert this year. The weather has been rainy, damp and downright chilly. Instead we combined our desert potluck with some of our Thanksgiving dinner friends. And what a wonderful time it was. Even the weather cooperated — the warmest day in more that two weeks. Combine that with friends new and old and you couldn’t ask for anything better.
SKPs Marlene & Frank Hinman played gracious hosts again. Sheral & Arnie, whom we’d met at Thanksgiving, were there along with several of our usual Trash Can friends and fellow SKPs— Betty, Ajo and Tom. We also welcomed new folks Susan & Bill, from Montana, and Marilyn & Wayne, from BC. Thirteen in all and enough food to feed two or three times that number. Good thing we all brought extra plates to take home another meal.
We hope you all had a wonderful holiday wheverever you are. And our best wishes to all for a great new year!