Letters to the Editor for Dec. 25, 2013


Published: Wednesday, December 25, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, December 23, 2013 at 10:05 p.m.

Memorable ornaments

Since the mid-1960s, my family and I have enjoyed the same Christmas presents over and over: Christmas tree ornaments given to my husband and I by schoolchildren.

Both of us were teachers for many years in middle and elementary schools in Gainesville and beyond. Over the years, we received these ornaments as Christmas presents from children.

Some have dates on them, and many we know by recalling the children who gave them to us. Except for six ornaments made and given to us by my mother in the ’70s, every single ornament on our tree was given to us by students.

For many years, it has been our family tradition to carefully take the ornaments from the box in which they are stored, look at them and comment on fond memories of the children who gave them to us.

Now, our 7-year-old grandson helps us put each ornament in just the right place. We then stand back and admire our beautiful Christmas tree. Next year will be our 47th year of using these ornaments.

Martha R. Harrell,

Gainesville

Everlasting gift

’Twas the night before my wedding,

I was nervous as hell.

Am I really getting married?

Will it last or will it fail?

We met just before Christmas,

On a blind date, you see.

I thought she was hot,

Did she feel the same about me?

It’s been 43 years,

Since that meeting that night.

A love that has lasted,

It just seems so right.

A love that is willing,

To roll with the flow.

Take all that comes with it,

The highs and the low.

My life changed,

That night that we met.

And all for the better,

For that you can bet.

So when Christmastime comes,

It’s so special you see.

God brought me a gift,

Everlasting for me.

Bob Stewart,

Alachua

Safely home

On Dec. 25, 2011, at 8:30

p.m. Maj. Brett Rhodenizer arrived safely home in the Gainesville airport following a year-long deployment to Iraq.

In addition, all of the men and women under his command in Charlie Company (Air Ambulance) 1-111th Aviation Florida Army National Guard also returned safely after providing MEDEVAC support for the American military serving in Iraq at five in-country bases, as well as contractors and Iraqi civilians.

As the last convoy of American soldiers left Iraq on Dec. 18, Charlie Company flew overhead to ensure that, to the very end, our soldiers had prompt medical attention in the event of any attacks or accidents. Fortunately it was a peaceful exit.

Without a doubt, this was the best Christmas present ever.

Karen, Alex and

Scott Rhodenizer,

Gainesville

Christmas memories

About six years ago our family decided not to exchange gifts at Christmas. We decided to take our daughters on a memorable vacation.

That year, December 2008, we went on a cruise to Cozumel and Grand Cayman. Since then, we’ve continued the tradition and have gone on Christmas trips to San Diego (and went to the Rose Parade), Los Angeles, Nashville and Las Vegas. I always plan a fun-filled itinerary packed with surprises.

This year will be our sixth annual DeLoach Family Christmas gift trip and we’re headed to San Francisco.

These trips have been the best Christmas presents. Very few people can remember what they got for Christmas last year, much less for the last six years. But, our daughters, who are now 20 and 16, will never forget the memories we’ve made as a family.

Debbie DeLoach,

Gainesville

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