New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 18, 1996, New Braunfels, Texas
Herald-Zeitung □ Wednesday, December 18,1996 □ 5APreparation for a family Christmas can help ensure a silent night
Once again we find ourselves enmeshed in the holiday season, that very special time of the year when we join with our loved ones in sharing traditions such as trying to get through the festive family Christmas dinner without murdering your second cousin's third wife’s 5-year-old stepson who, because he had forgotten to take his Ritalin, threw your favorite aunt’s cat in the back of the pickup where your brother-in-law had chained his pit bulldog.
The gaiety can start when you tell your great-great grandfather how much he enjoyed the Christmas dinner. Inform him as soon as he arrives. His severe case of old-timers disease will cause him to agree with you and he will take a five-hour nap. What fun!
Parlor games are also enjoyable, especially what everybody plays “tape the mouth of a mother-in-law.”
This game brings great merriment to the season no matter which mother-in-law is chosen, but it becomes even more enchanting when you tape the mouths of several. This can be a dangerous game, though. Make certain that the mothers-in-law chosen for this game don’t have nasal congestion. A taped mouth can cause a person with a cold to turn blue and the turkey might get cold while you are waiting for the ambulance to arrive.
Household harmony becomes
John I. Walker
more likely by having everyone sign a notarized contract listing subjects that cannot be discussed before, during or after dinner. The list of verboten subjects should include politics, religion, the abortion issue, AIDS, environmental impact studies, the economy and the Simpson murder case.
Health topics should be limited to current life threatening emergencies, i.e. disease cannot be mentioned unless someone falls unconscious at the dinner table. No discussion comparing labor pains with pain from shingles will be tolerated. Aunt Inez cannot contrast the weight of her gall stone with the poundage of Uncle Ike’s kidney stone.
To liven the dinner conversation, write non-controversial questions on strips of paper, fold the paper strips and place them in a bowl from where everyone can draw a question.
Discussion topics could include favorite books, movies, school subjects and travel destinations. This exercise will prove that your family is as boring and limited as you expected.
Meals will be more pleasant if family members are invited to tell stories from the past. Holiday memories — such as the time Uncle Bob found a Christmas parking space in the same time zone as the mall — are real heartwarmers. Time goes faster if you record these stories on the video camera. After dinner the family can gather around and watch the results on television. Viewing the anecdotes won’t take long but plan
for several hours' discussion as you explain how your camera makes everyone look older, fatter and uglier than they really are.
Remember that you won't pl ease' everyone. Adolescents especially. You can't get a teen-ager to answer questions any better than you can teach a pig to sing. Never mention his height, weight, hair length, clothes, school work, extra curricular activities, social or romantic life, plans for the future, current events or philosophical ideas. Other than that he w ill discuss just about anything. Letting him come to dinner late and leave early is a good idea.
Hosting an unrelated holiday guest
helps eliminate family arguments. This is similar to bonging a date home for the very first time. Everyone is on his best behavior, aiming to impress. This w ay an outsider can sometimes prevent the usual family squabbles and rude behavior. If you are uncertain that a mystery guest will help prevent misbehavior, invite an outsider who is deaf, blind and mute — that way the community will receive no unfavorable reports that could ruin your family reputation.
(John Ingram Walker, MD., lives in the Mew Braunfels area and writes a weekly column for the Herald-Zeitung.)
Cross Lutheran wins grants for child care training
APPLETON, WIS. — Cross Lutheran School and Child Care Center has been awarded two $500 grants from Aid Association for Lutherans.
The grants are designed to help die staff of Lutheran early childhood centers pursue professional staff development opportunities and resource center expansion.
These grants were provided through the AAL Lutheran Early Childhood Education Grant Program, which was offered to more than 4,000 Lutheran early childhood care facilities throughout the United States.
AAL, based in Appleton, is one of the nation’s leading fraternal benefit societies.
Founded in 1902, AAL’s purpose is to enable Lutherans to help themselves and others.
AAL accomplishes this by providing scholarship and grant programs, volunteer opportunities, insurance protection and self-help educational programs.
(Submitted by Cross Lutheran School and Child Care Center)
Women’s Healthcare Center
Proudly Announces the Association of
Dr. Kevin Blair
Board Certified in Obstetrics and GynecOlogy With Thomas D. Elmore, M.D.
Now Scheduling Patients for January, 1997
Southwestern Bell has erroneously omitted our listing under “Hardware-Retail” from its new directory. Please cut out this ad and place it between pages 124 and 125 of your new Yellow Pages.
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