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Tales of Christmas

If you were the person who made a terse comment or two recently about Mother Nature, brutal cold, or gusty winds, please say no more. We all suffered through the retaliation by the Big Woman and enough is enough. Keep still. I learned this several years ago when I pounded out two or three opinion columns about bad weather and we just kept on having it. Shhhh… stop. You expressed your thoughts; she heard you and evened the score. Be a quicker study than I was. Don’t make us go through more days like we had just before Christmas.

I hope you all had a good Christmas holiday. I heard many exciting travel tales about trips beginning as far away as Denver or as close as Newton or Wichita. Thankfully everyone seemed to make it to their destination unscathed. I made repeated trips to Peabody Market and was grateful to get there and back.

We had fun at our house. The Married Daughter and What’s His Name are fond of unusual gifts for their home—the Marler House of Oddities up in Hillsboro. I scored points this year by purchasing a stuffed blond Belgian pheasant from an antique shop in Russell on one of my trips to Colorado.

Jerod, the new guy on our gift list, casually mentioned several months ago that he thought bird watching might be an interesting hobby. He said it only once in passing, but everyone remembered. He got several bird identification books, a feeder, and a bag of bird seed. Hopefully, he was serious.

No one put gloves on his or her gift list, but everyone got at least one pair. The Mister got about a dozen. We take turns opening gifts and every third package or so contained gloves. Work gloves, driving gloves, fuzzy gloves, leather gloves, fingerless gloves, colorful gloves, and brown jersey gloves all made an appearance. How do you think things like that happen?

Hizzoner, Peabody Mayor Larry Larsen, was the drawing guy on Dec. 23 when he pulled the winning tickets from a bag of nearly 300 entries in the Peabody Main Street shopping promotion. Three hundred tickets is an astounding number (the actual count was 296—just pretty darn close to 300!). Since each ticket represents $50 worth of purchases, the money spent in Peabody during the holiday season was right at $15,000. The prize money was in Peabody Bucks so that also will be spent in Peabody.

The first-prize winner was Steve Thomas from Walton, who won $700. Teresa McGonigal of Peabody was the second-place winner of $350. And guess what? I bagged the third-place prize of $100. Yup, I did. And it only cost me $600 to do it. I told you a couple of weeks ago that I had 20 tickets to fill after paying for car repairs at Peabody Farm Service. And I told you to give it your best to knock me out of the running. Some of you did! I heard reports of individuals whose ticket numbers topped 30 or 40 each.

But that just goes to show you that people who enter smaller numbers of tickets can win, so keep that in mind for next year! Fill up as many tickets as you can, but don’t assume that just because you only enter three or five or ten, you are not in the running. You are and you have made a contribution to your business community and the economic health of your town.

So go for the Peabody Bucks next year. Filling the tickets is part of the fun of the local holiday season.

Have a safe and happy New Year this week and try to keep the comments about Mother Nature under your hat.

— Susan Marshall

Last modified Dec. 30, 2009

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