default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

Here are some treats for your Christmas stocking

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Monday, December 22, 2008 10:00 pm

So here it is - the last column before Christmas and the last for 2008. Time to get in a Christmas stocking full of various bits and pieces, enjoyable, I hope.

Down in the toe there is usually something tasty and enjoyable that gives balance to whatever else may be above. In this Christmas stocking, it is a recent conversation I had with Lisa Harp, and the wonderful things she is doing to help struggling students learn. She deals with them one on one, and takes all factors into consideration, physical, emotional, intellectual.

What I think is really important is that she wakens them to the realization that they have an imagination and teaches them how to use it. Too many children get only the products of other people's imaginations - TV, movies, electronics of all sorts. Reading is the way out of this wilderness. I encourage all parents, grandparents, child care people, etc: GET YOUR CHILDREN READING. It is the greatest gift you can give.

Next is a little package of fall memories of trees I can't put a name to, but Joyce Harmon and Vern Weigum surely can. They are medium-sized trees with rather heart-shaped leaves which turn all sorts of harlequin colors, and when the wind blows, they fairly twinkle. They are all over town. I know they are not liquid ambers! A memory of a twinkling harlequin tree is a gift to cherish.

Now some little tidbits from here and there, like a Whitman's sampler box of candy. From a little book called, "The Comfort of Cats," these gems:

The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated. - Mahatma Gandhi.

"I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being." - Abraham Lincoln.

If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you have men who deal likewise with their fellow men. - St. Francis of Assisi. (St. Francis was writing several hundred years ago. Had he been writing in our time, he would have included women as well as men!)

And from a little book of readings called, "Forward Day by Day," these gifts that are not the kind generally included in a Christmas stocking, but add a special kind of comfort:

"Faith offers us a foundation for withstanding life's storms, not a haven where storms do not happen."

"The difference between chaos and creativity is that creativity has a norm to which it returns. Chaos does not. Be creative, not chaotic."

We are going forward toward a Christmas which may not be all that warm and happy for too many of us, and into a year of great unknowns. The gifts we all need are kindness and compassion, and the assurance that it will all come right in the end. I hope for these for all of you. Merry Christmas!

Gwin Paden has had her finger in a number of community pies since arriving here in 1957, including teaching, news reporting, and involvement in numerous organizations.

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don't pretend you're someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don't insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.

Welcome to the discussion.

Recent Comments

Posted 15 hours ago by jeffreyrinek.

article: San Joaquin County supervisors approve …

Mr. Chang, from your latest comment concerning out of county comments I presume you are referring to me, at the least. Thank you for partic…


Posted 15 hours ago by Frank Gayaldo.

article: San Joaquin County supervisors approve …

My passion is promoting our local economy. When the sheriff does things like waste $9 million dollars on jail design plans, that has a dire…


Posted 15 hours ago by Eric Barrow.

article: Letter: Pastor Frank Nolton forgets abo…

Left wing political propaganda nonsense? I thought you weren't caught up in the left right paradigm.


Posted 16 hours ago by nth degree wise.

article: Letter: Pastor Frank Nolton forgets abo…

Now who is promoting political (right wing) propaganda nonsense? That a sign on a school building (Gun-Free School Zone) is the cause of sc…


Posted 16 hours ago by Ron Werner.

article: Chris Piombo: Life can be hard for a Do…

The Dodgers, just like the federal government. They think that if you throw enough money at something you can buy what you want. With the …



Popular Stories


Should graduations return to the Grape Bowl?

Lodi Unified leaders are moving Lodi and Tokay high school graduations from the Grape Bowl to the Spanos Center at UOP in Stockton. They cite limited seating, costs and unpredictable weather at the Grape Bowl. But others say graduations at the Grape Bowl are an important Lodi tradition, and one reason many supported renovating the stadium. What do you think?

Total Votes: 37


Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists