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A Christmas Abecedarian

December 25, 2021

Holiday POSTpourri:  A Christmas Eve Abecedarian

by Alice Jane-Marie Massa

                On this Christmas Eve of 2021, I can report that I have not been dreaming of a white Christmas; and I got my wish–no snow, no ice, no salt.  Nevertheless, earlier this evening, an “Alexa” alert announced a dense fog warning for Milwaukee.  Rudolph better have on the low beam to guide Santa’s sleigh over Southeastern Wisconsin tonight. 

                Have you already hung your Christmas stocking?  Through the decades, I have acquired, since 1962, a collection of Christmas stockings for each of my pet dogs and guide dogs, along with some other Christmas stockings.  I have decorated my bookcases, grandfather clock, and other places with these red, green, and white stockings.  I still have my original Christmas stocking–the cuff of which has changed from white to more of a beige, but still displays my name “Alice Jane.”  The lower portion of the stocking is now a faded red with cream-colored holly-and-ivy and other scroll, tactile designs with a reindeer.  What I most remember finding each year in this stocking was a tangerine because we only had tangerines at Christmas.  Did you receive a tangerine in your stocking during the 1950s? 

                In contrast to those tangerine Christmases of decades ago, on Christmas morning this year, I will enjoy my traditional Christmas breakfast with a ruby red grapefruit–and a Christmas cookie! 

                Something I will most associate with this holiday season of 2021 is my setting a Massa Book of World Records for the most braille Christmas cards I have ever received.  I do greatly appreciate both the hand brailled cards and the commercially brailled cards.  From front panels featuring very tactile poinsettias to a embossed snowman, each of these cards has brightened my Christmas spirit and highly increased my gratitude level.  Although I do truly appreciate the print Christmas cards and photocards which I have received, the braille cards not only touch my fingertips, but also touch my heart. 

                Tonight, while I am listening to the Midnight Mass from the Vatican and from the Cathedral of St. John (Milwaukee), I will complete a little more decorating.

                Following the above holiday POSTpourri, I will now share with you a Christmas abecedarian.  Perhaps, you will want to write your own abecedarian about the holiday season.

* * *

An Abecedarian of Christmas Joys and Memories

                by Alice Jane-Marie Massa

My Christmas list is an abecedarian of memories,

a wreath of joys From “A” to “Z”

to share with my WORDWALK readers while you sit beside your Christmas trees.

Angel music box, given to my mother from Dana Postmaster Beatrice Bales, adorns my end table.

Blanford–my Hoosier hometown–Christmases will forever sparkle brightly in my memory.

Christmas carol music books–a green one with Bing Crosby on the cover and one red one with angels.

Dogs–my pet dogs who added many delights to our Christmases.

Elves, of the Pixie variety, that sat upon my Aunt Kathy’s TV for many holidays.

Forest in Parke County (Indiana) where we tagged some of our fresh-cut Christmas trees.

Guide dogs Keller, Heather, Zoe, and Willow joyfully enhanced my holidays since 1990.

Home, sweet home, to decorate for this special season.

Icicles–tinsel–that shimmered on our trees of earlier decades.

Jingle bells on the horses pulling the carriages through the streets of Milwaukee.

Kitchens filled with the wonderful aromas of cookies, sweet breads, and other special treats.

Little Prince, the Toy Manchester/Chihuahua, who was my best Christmas gift ever from my dad.

Mail that brings to me festive print and braille cards from family and friends.

Noodles–homemade pasta–made by my mother for our holiday dinners.

Old ornaments that I have saved and cherished through the years.

Panattoni, Mrs. Pickard’s pineapple Squares, and many other tasty treats of the Christmas season.

Quilt–oh, yes, a precious, handmade Christmas quilt–I treasure from Michigan friends.

Rudolph, the Red-nosed Reindeer book which I still have from my childhood days.

Santa Claus, Indiana–where, according to my sister and me–lived the real Santa in the 1950s!

Tangerines in the toe of my first Christmas stocking.

Underneath the Christmas tree, I carefully arranged presents which I had decoratively wrapped.

Velvet-dressed baby Gina held lovingly by my dad–saved in a photo.

Wabash Avenue’s downtown–at the “Crossroads of America”–where I loved to shop.

Xylophone which Santa gave me and with which I played and awoke my parents on December 25, 1955.

Yesterdays of Christmases warm my heart and then

Zoom into VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS Wishes for you tonight.

* * *

May your Christmas be filled with sweet memories, peace, and joy!

Alice and Leader Dog Willow

December 24, 2021, Friday


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  1. Susan McKendry permalink

    Reading this with my first cup of coffee was the perfect way to start Christmas Day 2021! Hope you and Willow enjoy the weather predicted.

    • Merry Christmas, Sue–Special thanks to you for your very sweet message
      on this post!  I hope that you and John are enjoying a wonderful
      Christmas Day and will enjoy the upcoming week also.

      Thanks again for the brailled card!

      Best wishes–Alice and Willow

  2. Thank you, Alice, for the heartfelt wishes and precious memories! Hope that you and Willow have enjoyed a very special Christmas Day!
    Love and Best Wishes,

    • Christmas Greetings!  Mary–Thanks for your comment on this Christmas
      post!  After posting, I recalled that I had earlier in the day thought
      of another line for the letter “C”–“Choir at Midnight Mass of Sacred
      Heart Church.”

      Also, the “P” line should have included pizzelle as well as the
      panattoni and pineapple squares.  Well, when I am writing on a
      “Wordwalk” with Willow, I do not always recall all that I have composed
      while walking with my Leader Dog.

      So glad that you enjoyed a lovely Christmas–Alice and Willow

  3. Katherine Binole permalink

    Thanks for the poem of special memories. Your mention of my Christmas elves brought back so many memories. Bill and Lisa had so much fun with the Christmas elves when they were young.When I would set them out each Christmas, they would line them up as their choir to sing Christmas songs with them. The elves have traveled many miles since leaving Blanford,Indiana and lived in several houses continuing to bring joy at Christmas. When Bill was in Minnesota for Thanksgiving, the next day we always decorated for Christmas.When he helped set out the Christmas elves, he said, “Mom the only thing I want are the Christmas elves.” Bill got the Christmas elves and set them up in his Cincinnati apartment for several Christmases. I am so grateful he was able to enjoy them for awhile at his home. After his death, Lisa said, Mom the only thing I want of Bill’s are the Christmas elves”. They arrived carefully packed back to Minnesota. 2020, the first Christmas without Bill, I set the Christmas elves around my little tree and they brought me comfort. This year,2021, Lisa came for Thanksgiving. As usual, we decorated for Christmas the day after. Instead of setting out the Christmas elves, she carefully packed them into her suitcase for yet another journey, this time to Mexico City. She set them on a bookshelf in her house and is going to have a glass enclosure made for them. Who knew these Christmas elves, purchased at GC Murphy’s in Clinton, Indiana, made of pipe cleaners, styrofoam balls and colorful felt clothing and hats would bring so much joy and memories for so many years! Love Aunt Kathy

    • Dear Aunt Kathy,

          Your beautifully written comment is such a tender and loving memory
      piece that is a superb addition to this abecedarian and blog post.  Many
      thanks for writing with such care to save and share such treasured memories.

      May the new year bring you peace, joy, good cheer, and fine health!

      Love, Alice and Willow

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