People who remember the true meaning of the holiday spirit |

People who remember the true meaning of the holiday spirit

by Carolyn Tate and Maizie Harris Jesse

Some people equate Christmas with presents and material wealth. Others get it just right. A time for loving and sharing. Respecting others and their ways of life and belief. Hanukkah began Friday, and soon Kwanzaa will begin. All typify joy and goodness. So, in that vein, let us tell you about some people who have gone above and beyond.

A gentleman in town needed a hospital bed in his house because his own bed had become quite uncomfortable. The visiting nurse told his wife if they could move the furniture in the living room, she could have a bed delivered that day. The wife called Carson Valley Movers, which sent a man over to check out what was needed. Instead of “the two elderly ladies” (their description, not ours) having to move the furniture, he did it all himself and didn’t charge them a cent. They were both overwhelmed with his generosity, and forgot to get his name. We hope he knows how grateful they are. Thank you.


And it goes on: Megan of Alie’s Flowers went out of her way to see that a bouquet was delivered in Lovelock for the funeral of a 41-year-old father who died of a heart attack this week. Because their florist wasn’t listed in the Teleflora book, she made several calls to florists in Winnemucca and Fernley before getting the order through. She is also to be thanked.


When her car’s taillight went out last week, Maizie stopped at Carson Shell on North Carson Street, and asked if they could fix it. The mechanic went inside, got a replacement light and drill, and proceeded to fix it on the spot. How much? “Three dollars.” How nice can you get? The last time she had it replaced at a dealership, it cost many times that much. Thanks, sir … you made her day.


We know you all have people to thank this time of year, so we suggest you do it. Call them, go see them, forgive them, and, above all, love them. Then maybe take a couple of turkeys to FISH, or some warm clothes to the Senior Center. That way, Christmas will be merry for you and many others.

Don’t forget the people who work during the holidays. Or your policeman, fireman, mailman, garbage man, waiter, salesman, deliveryman … and all the women who do those things, too. Nurses, doctors, teachers, our military, and anyone who does something nice for you.

Above all, do something nice for others, even if it’s only a smile or hug. They’re free, and exemplify the spirit of Christmas. And to all the readers of this column, we thank you for all your kindnesses.


Jim Lien sent us this story of a mother and her children’s Christmas pageant: “My daughter was playing Mary, two of my sons were shepherds, and my youngest son was a wise man. The 5-year-old had practiced his line, ‘We found the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes,’ but he was nervous and said, ‘The baby was wrapped in wrinkled clothes.’ Four-year-old ‘Mary’ said, ‘That’s not wrinkled clothes, silly, it’s dirty, rotten clothes.’ A wrestling match broke out between the two, which was stopped by an angel, who lost her left wing and bent her halo. I slouched a little lower when Mary dropped the doll playing the Baby Jesus and it went bouncing down the aisle crying, ‘Mama, Mama.’ Just then, my oldest son appeared, dressed in a bathrobe and paper crown, announcing, ‘We are Three Wise Men and are bringing gifts of gold, common sense and fur.’

“The pageant got a standing ovation amid the roaring of the congregation and the pastor, who proclaimed it was the best Christmas story he’d ever seen. As he wiped the tears from his eyes, he said he would never be able to think of the Three Wise Men again without their gifts of ‘gold, common sense and fur.'” Amen.


Quick notes: The mansion looks Christmasy thanks to Mrs. Guinn and friends; Celia Wieprecht and Charlie Johnston celebrate birthdays this week (DO NOT under any circumstances think that ONE present will do for the birthday AND Christmas); Dana Borda is taking his first plane flight ever and is going to Disneyland … that’s NOT a fairy tale; and thanks to Jessi Winchester for the nice note.


Other quick notes: Don’t assume that “someone else” has called in an emergency. The other day, there was an accident in Washoe Valley on the freeway, and, while about 12 cars had stopped to help, no one had called the highway patrol. Better there are too many calls than none at all.

Also watch out for gift and credit card scams this time of year. Only buy gift cards that have the numbers hidden … thieves are copying the numbers, then calling to see when the card is activated and drawing out the credit.

Also check out the charities you give to before you give per Jane Bryant Quinn of Newsweek.;; … all give the percentages of how much goes to the actual charity, and how much goes to administrative costs. You’ll be surprised how many “charities” are nothing but money pits disguised as real causes. So check before you send a check.


Darlene and Bryan Berry will be celebrating their 47th wedding anniversary Saturday. Great people who deserve a great day. But it reminds us of the couple who were going to celebrate their 50th anniversary, according to Don Quilici and Vern Manke. “In church, the pastor asked Ralph how he managed to stay married all those years, and Ralph replied, ‘Well, pastor, I treated her with respect, spent money on her, but mostly took her traveling on special occasions.’ The minister asked, ‘Trips to where?’ ‘For our 25th anniversary, I took her to China.’ ‘What a terrific example to all husbands,’ said the pastor. ‘What are you going to do for your 50th?’ ‘Go get her back.'” (The columnists are not responsible for the content of this advice.)


We close with a poem from Margaret Montes: “May your stuffing be tasty, may your turkey be plump./May your potatoes ‘n gravy have nary a lump./May your yams be delicious, may your pies take the prize/May your Christmas dinner stay off your thighs.” Merry Christmas, everyone!

• Carolyn Tate and Maizie Harris Jesse are longtime Carson City residents. Write to them at