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Christmases past live on today; angels get kids’ attention

December 21, 2008
By SANDY MICKELSON, Messenger staff writer

My friend Arlene Opheim can't laugh at my basement boxes any more.

She recently unearthed a box of her own that included something she wrote for the Purple 'N Gold - the Eagle Grove High School newspaper - on Dec. 22, 1964.

"It seems as though the preparations and planning that Christmas brings give a new ray of hope to the troubled world, when hearts are lighter and the music sweeter," she wrote.

She also wrote about the Scandinavian customs of Christmas, saying, "I cannot remember a Christmas Eve without fish and meatballs and all the trimmings." That's lutefisk and Norwegian meatballs, you understand.

Then she wrote something that remains all too true today: "Many people spend more on wrapping paper and ribbon for the presents they buy than thousands of hungry people in the world spend for food for a long period of time. Every conscientious person should ask if the plans they make for the holiday season are truly good, helpful and if they, in some small way, can help someone else have a little brighter Christmas."

Now that's something to think about.

As is this explanation of angels by children that's been circulation of e-mail:

- I only know the names of two angels. Hark and Harold. - Gregory, 5.

- Everybody's got it all wrong. Angels don't wear halos anymore. I forget why, but scientists are working on it. - Olive, 9.

- It's not easy to become an angel. First, you die. Then you go to heaven, and then there's still the flight training to go through. And then you got to agree to wear those angel clothes. - Matthew, 9.

- Angels work for God and watch over kids when God has to go do something else. - Mitchell, 7.

- My guardian angel helps me with math, but he's not much good for science. - Henry, 8.

- Angels don't eat, but they drink milk from holy cows. - Jack, 6.

- Angels talk all the way while they're flying you up to heaven. The main subject is where you went wrong before you got dead. - Daniel, 9.

- When an angel gets mad, he takes a deep breath and counts to 10. And when he lets out his breath, somewhere there's a tornado. - Reagan, 10.

- Angels have a lot to do and they keep very busy. If you lose a tooth, an angel comes in through your window and leaves money under your pillow. Then when it gets cold, angels go north for the winter. - Sara, 6.

- Angels live in cloud houses made by God and his son, who's a very good carpenter. - Jared, 8.

- All angels are girls because they gotta wear dresses and boys didn't go for it. - Antonio, 9.

- My angel is my grandma who died last year. She got a big head start on helping me while she was still down here on earth. - Katelynn, 9.

- Some of the angels are in charge of helping heal sick animals and pets. And if they don't make the animals get better, they help the child get over it. - Vicki, 8.

- What I don't get about angels is why, when someone is in love, they shoot arrows at them. - Sarah, 7.

So there.

So long friends until the next time when we're together.

Contact Sandy Mickelson at (515) 5734-2141 or



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