Unheralded

CLAY JENKINSON: The Jefferson Watch — A Very Dickens Christmas

This was written just before Christmas. Happy holidays, everyone, from all of us at the Thomas Jefferson Hour. I’m going to be alone this Christmas for the first time in 20 years — so do feel free to send presents — cognac, figs, books, music, frankincense and myrrh, whatever they are. Don’t cry for me Argentina. I have plans. I …


Unheralded

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Some Christmas Poetry: ‘Pure As The Soul Of Christ’

OK, if you came here looking for that sappy poem “Billy Peeble’s Christmas” that I usually put on my annual Christmas poetry blog, you’re going to be disappointed. Even Lillian rolled her eyes when I headed for my office to start writing. She didn’t say much, but I got the hint — aren’t you tired of that by now? Isn’t …


TONY J BENDER: That’s Life — A Christmas Tale

In the spirit of the season, we bring you one of Tony J Bender’s columns from 2002. The teapot whistled, and the old man rose from his rocking chair by the window where he watched the sunrise. He pulled two cups out of the cupboard, a force of habit developed over 53 years. He filled one cup, dropped an Earl …

TIM MADIGAN: Anything Mentionable — For The Holidays: My Father’s Gift

It’s been seven years since my dad, Myke Madigan, died after a noble struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. Last February, after months of praying that God take her home, Lois Madigan, my mom, finally “got her wings.” Both of them have been on my mind and heart an awful lot lately, which might explain why a few days ago I remembered …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Red Oak House Winter Notes No. 3: Life’s Passages

There are no “Garden Notes” this time of year at Red Oak House (although Jim did already order his 2019 tomato seeds), but I do occasionally write “Winter Notes.” This entry is deeply significant for me because of a life passage my family and I have been experiencing. Autumn was short, cold and somewhat gloomy, and snow came early. Jim says …

JIM THIELMAN: Christmas Letters: The Good, The Bad

I grew eager each December when the Christmas cards feathered out from a neatly stacked pile into a pitcher’s mound on the dining room buffet. It meant the one mimeographed Christmas letter would soon arrive. As I reached junior high, I couldn’t wait for what was the genre’s quintessential stereotype. The letter — who had a mimeograph machine? — addressed …

TERRY DULLUM: The Dullum File — Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town

As a kid, a lot of stuff confused me. Some of it centered on Santa Claus and Christmas. Part of it was the usual confusing kid stuff. How can Santa and the reindeer fly? How does Santa get down the chimney? How does he get UP the chimney? What if we don’t have a chimney? My confusion wasn’t helped at …

TONY J BENDER: That’s Life — A Christmas Story

The clatter was tremendous. Decorative brass fireplace implements clanged off the brick hearth and a fine black cloud of soot billowed, and when it had cleared, there stood a man who looked just like the one in the Christmas cards — right down to the red suit and black boots. The small boy at the table stared, a cookie poised …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Merry Christmas, And Billy Peeble, One More Time

It’s Saturday of Christmas weekend, and it feels like it’s Christmas Eve. If it seems like Christmas falling on a Monday (and Christmas Eve on a Sunday) seems unusual, it’s because it hasn’t happened for a while. Because of a quirk in the calendar (a few leap years), we’ve gone 11 years without a Monday Christmas, the last one happening in 2006. …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Christmastime At Red Oak House

Much as I am saddened to see the autumn season come to an end, it makes my husband, Jim, delighted when I spend about 12 hours decorating Red Oak House for Christmas. He is just a big kid at heart. I’m stubborn about not taking down the autumn decorations until Thanksgiving has passed, even though I began seeing Christmas decor …

RUSS HONS: Photo Gallery — National Christmas Tree

The National Christmas Tree made a stop in downtown Grand Forks on Sunday morning, much to the delight of the crowd that gathered to see it at Town Square. The tree, from Kootenai National Forest in Montana, made the visit as part of the “U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Whistle Stop.” Grand Forks Mayor Michael Brown made a formal proclamation recognizing …

RON SCHALOW: The Aftermath

“Hi, Orv!” chirps Stan. “What did you get for Christmas? Another 10,000 acres of dirt? Hair plugs? Personality injections?” “What’s it to you, Marxist boy?” hisses Orville, as he takes another sip of his vodka gimlet. “Are you 10 years old or something?” He mimics the voice of a small boy. “What did you get for Christmas? Geez Louise.” Stanley thinks …

TERRY DULLUM: The Dullum File — Cards Of Wonder

Friends of ours, Mark and Kitty Westin, came up with a lovely Christmas card tradition for themselves a couple of years ago. Each year, they discover and repurpose a classic Christmas card from another era, sending them “back out into the world!” As they visit antique stores throughout the year, they find interesting, vintage Christmas cards that they repurpose, usually by copying the front …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Some Christmas Poetry

I’d be lying if I said James W. Foley was one of my favorite poets. Hokey might be the best word to describe him (but kind of wonderfully hokey). Foley, North Dakota’s longtime Poet Laureate — way before current Laureate Larry Woiwode — has been dead 75 years now, but there’s a renewed interest in his work, as evidenced by a series …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot the Rapids — ‘Shoebox Christmas’

The whole story started 10 years ago, at about this very time. I was at a meeting for Churches United for the Homeless, where I was serving my first year on the board. The executive director was bemoaning the fact that First Link, the organization in charge of distributing gifts to people at Christmas, had made some changes in their program. …