space
space
Peshtigo Times
space
space
space
Perspectives
* Country Cousin
space
space
Sports Shorts
* WIAA Crowns Five Champions at Boys State Hoops Tourney
* Bulldog Baseball Team Ready to Defend Packerland Title
* Area Teams Compete at Oshkosh Indoor Invitational
* WIAA Boys State Basketball to Tip-Off at Kohl Center
* Five Girls Basketball State Titles Decided Saturday at Resch Center

space
Peshtigo Fire
space
e-Edition
Now Available
For more information
click here
dot
THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
space
dot
space

From My Window

Issue Date: December 20, 2018

Danger Christmas

By Jane Thibodeau Martin,

I get daily pictures of my granddaughter in Oklahoma, often doing something that my son labels "danger toddler." It's a little joke that recognizes kids of her age (almost 2) are learning and applying new skills. It is absolutely necessary to their growth and healthy development that you allow them to learn to do things that sometimes make you a little anxious " like trying to climb up on a picnic table bench, running in the yard while trying to carry some large awkward toy with them, or ascending their first set of stairs not holding on to the hand of an adult. There is risk involved " but it is risk you tolerate, since you can't wrap kids in bubble wrap and have them grow up normal.

"Danger Toddler" made me think of things I'll call "Danger Christmas." I thought of a few from my childhood pretty easily.

When I was little, my Great-Aunt Josephine still had the little candle holders used to light Christmas trees before electric tree lights were available. They were little metal disks, with a soldered-on tube standing upright, meant to hold the thin, short candle vertically. You attached this to a branch with a clip like a spring-loaded clothespin. I often hear long-ago stories of Christmas trees being put up on Christmas Eve, and lit only one or two times with these candle holders " probably because of the extreme danger they presented. While a dried out live Christmas tree with modern lights still presents some fire risk, it's nothing like what these candle-lit trees represented, although I bet they were lovely. And talk about "danger toddler!" One of those trees around excited kids would fit that title nicely.

Aunt Josie also had some truly ancient decorations that were a hard wire, bent at 90 degrees, with a bright-red candy "cherry" on each end of the wire. They were meant to be hung over branches of the Christmas tree. These candies were extremely attractive to kids because although we weren't supposed to touch them they smelled amazing and we often stole a quick lick when no one was looking. They were aggressively sweet and strongly cherry, sort of like those old Luden's cough drops only better yet. Eventually these cherries were released to us - by that time they were probably 30 years old or more, and we ate them. (The only reason they survived so long was because Aunt Jo never had any children.) The wires were extremely hard and sharp and you had to be really careful to avoid getting a cut in your mouth from them. If you ran with one in your mouth and fell, there was a good chance the hard wire would go right through the roof of your mouth. Such a hazardous item would never be made or given to kids today, and it's a REALLY good thing that's the case.

In the early 60's there was a popular Christmas decorating trend using spray "snow" out of pressurized cans. You taped cardboard stencils on your windows, then sprayed the "snow" to make shapes like Santa and his sleigh, Christmas trees and candy canes on the glass. You could also use it to spray a mirror, or your entire Christmas tree where it got all over your lights and ornaments. The stuff was marked "highly flammable" and even back in those days of litigation-free unwise products, the warnings on the can were extensive " unplug tree lights before spraying, do not use near hot surfaces, candles, burners, etc. Besides being a fire hazard during application, this stuff was extraordinarily messy. The snow flakes went all over and the windows were really hard to clean at the end of the holiday season. You didn't even try to get it off your ornaments or lights. All in all, it makes you wonder why any of us thought this was a good idea at the time.

Finally, let's look at holly. Holly is one of those things strongly associated with Christmas that has nothing to do with the Biblical Christmas story, as far as I can tell. Rather, it is a remnant of "winter celebrations" in pre-Christian times. It was considered sacred by the Druids, and the Romans associated holly with Saturn, the god of agriculture and harvest. It's one of the few small trees or shrubs with evergreen leaves instead of needles, so it would have been a good choice for indoor decorations in the cold months. The thick, leathery leaves hold up well indoors. In fact, the leaves are so leathery and inflexible it is very hard to tell real holly from good artificial holly and I don't say that about many fake botanicals. And the fake stuff has the advantage over the real leaves in that real ones are extremely picky. Those points on the leaves end in little thorns and they can shred you up.

I know this after a window project at my son and daughter-of-the-heart's home last year. Their house has holly shrubbery around two sides of it. The holly slashed me up so badly I had to hack some of it back, and then got myself a heavy coverall to wear when working there, even in the Tulsa heat. That stuff is nasty, I am telling you. And the pretty red or white berries are toxic (the leaves are too, but few are willing to eat something so prickly,) and can cause vomiting and diarrhea. (Fatalities, though, are almost unknown.) Once the branches are indoors, the berries dry out and drop off, making them available to pets or kids. Since they don't taste very good, they are unlikely to eat many, but it is still wise to keep them out of reach " or use artificial. Interestingly, birds DO eat holly berries, but apparently only after they have been through a freeze/thaw cycle.

Luckily, Christmas is much safer these days. The most serious "Danger Christmas" most of us face is letting the baking, shopping, cleaning and general commercialized frenzy get between us and the real significance of this holiday. So I will make time for an activity that will really "light up" my Christmas. I have plans to perform an anonymous act of kindness. Maybe you could write someone who has greatly impacted your life in a positive way a personal letter of thanks. Or reach out to someone who had a difficult year, and may be a bit depressed this holiday season, as it's the first one without someone special. Because all of these things more accurately reflect the reason for the season better than candy, fake snow, or holly. And they are also safer.

You can reach me for commentary, alternative viewpoints or ideas at this e-mail address: JanieTMartin@gmail.com.


Recent stories, opinions and photos

Issue Date Department Headline
03-21-2019Obituaries
Becky S. Butterfield

03-21-2019Obituaries
Shirley A. Farley

03-21-2019Obituaries
Michael C. Frewerd

03-21-2019Obituaries
Martha Harth

03-21-2019Obituaries
Milton C. Heiden

03-21-2019Obituaries
Kathy J. Hopp

03-21-2019Obituaries
Mary C. Huempfner

03-21-2019Obituaries
Justina A. Johanek

03-21-2019Obituaries
Jane L. Kipp

03-21-2019Obituaries
Ilene I. Koebach

03-21-2019Obituaries
Rebecca J. Konyn

03-21-2019Obituaries
William J. Legault

03-21-2019Obituaries
Robert S. Ondik

03-21-2019Obituaries
Dennis G. Schroeder

03-21-2019Obituaries
Gerald K. Stoltenow

03-21-2019Obituaries
Edna Thorpe

03-21-2019Front Page
Magdalene Tisch

03-21-2019Obituaries
Nancy A. Tisler

03-21-2019Obituaries
Richard F. Versailles

03-21-2019Obituaries
Dorothea J. Wunderlich

03-21-2019Obituaries
Carol J. Yuenger

03-21-2019Sports
WIAA Crowns Five Champions at Boys State Hoops Tourney

03-21-2019
M&M Thunder Cap Season With 3rd Place State Finish

03-21-2019Sports
Bulldog Baseball Team Ready to Defend Packerland Title

03-21-2019Sports
Area Teams Compete at Oshkosh Indoor Invitational

03-21-2019Perspectives
Country Cousin

03-21-2019Perspectives
From My Window

03-21-2019Perspectives
From our readers

03-21-2019Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee School "Bring Parents Day" March 29

03-21-2019Community - Wausaukee
Easter Egg Hunt Is April 20th

03-21-2019Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Lion's Host Bowl Tourney

03-21-2019Community - Wausaukee
Lions Annual Flower Sale

03-21-2019Community - Crivitz
Drawdown at Caldron Falls Dam For Spring Thaw

03-21-2019Community - Crivitz
Sip For a Cause, Quilt Show Apr. 4

03-21-2019Community - Crivitz
Mental Health Wellness Conference at Crivitz Apr. 13

03-21-2019Community - Crivitz
Loomis Historical Meets April 4

03-21-2019Community - Coleman
Coleman High School Wins Academic Bowl

03-21-2019Community - Coleman
Coleman DAR Award Recipient

03-21-2019Community - Coleman
Easter Event at Coleman April 20

03-21-2019Community - Coleman
Ribbon Cutting for New coleman Business

03-21-2019Front Page
Suspect Jailed For 1976 McClintock Park Murders

03-21-2019Front Page
Body Found In Menominee River Identified, Arrest Made

03-21-2019Front Page
Town Of Peshtigo Hires Consultant

03-21-2019Front Page
Goldschmidt, Meyhoff Are Not Candidates For Wagner Board

03-21-2019Front Page
County Board Expected To OK Laura Frea For Dist. 14

03-15-2019Community - Wausaukee
Beecher Board Hears Reports and Variance

03-15-2019
Lions Annual Flower Sale

03-15-2019Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Lion's Host Bowl Tourney

03-15-2019Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Ski Cats Host Crivitz Classic

03-15-2019Community - Crivitz
CPR Class at Bellin in Crivitz Mar. 27

03-15-2019Community - Coleman
Pound Assembly Sponsors Wellness Conference Mar. 23

03-15-2019Community - Coleman
Craft, Vendor Show at Equity Hall Mar. 30

03-15-2019Community - Coleman
Coleman School Gets $3500 Grant

03-15-2019Sports
WIAA Boys State Basketball to Tip-Off at Kohl Center

03-15-2019Sports
Five Girls Basketball State Titles Decided Saturday at Resch Center

03-15-2019Sports
Peshtigo River Bowhunters Hold Annual Awards Banquet

03-15-2019Sports
Maroon Girls Stand Strong With 3 Post Season Wins

03-15-2019Perspectives
From our readers

03-15-2019Perspectives
Country Cousin National Pi Day"

03-15-2019Perspectives
From My Window Shelter Friends

03-15-2019Obituaries
Patricia A. Zimmerman

03-15-2019Obituaries
Richard Versailles

03-15-2019Obituaries
William B. Reabe

03-15-2019Obituaries
Martin Lake

03-15-2019Obituaries
Donald C. Kuffel

03-15-2019Obituaries
Russell A. Kanerva

03-15-2019Obituaries
Eugene R. Hudson

03-15-2019Obituaries
Brian F. Hafeman

03-15-2019Obituaries
Ron Dembroski

03-15-2019Obituaries
Pamela M. Bramschreiber

03-15-2019Obituaries
Susan L. Boettcher

03-15-2019Obituaries
Jeffery J. Anglehart

03-15-2019Obituaries
Gerald V. Walk

03-15-2019Obituaries
Virginia Mae Tackmier

03-15-2019Obituaries
Raymond D. Sparr

03-15-2019Obituaries
Michael F. Prokash

03-15-2019Obituaries
Grace L. Phillips

03-15-2019Obituaries
Betty D. Devine

03-15-2019Obituaries
Richard L. Tebo

03-15-2019Obituaries
Jeffrey S. Reitz

03-15-2019Obituaries
Dolores Mary Pfeiff  

03-15-2019Obituaries
Helen M. Peters

03-15-2019Obituaries
Jewel M. Pennington

03-15-2019Obituaries
Janice L. Millering

03-15-2019Obituaries
John M. Miller

03-15-2019Obituaries
A. Beverly Kaatz

03-15-2019
Marion G. Hutson

03-15-2019Obituaries
Audrey M. Cleary

03-15-2019Front Page
Wagner Has Two New Write In Candidates

03-15-2019Front Page
Peshtigo School District Hires Howick Associates

03-15-2019Front Page
Middle Inlet May Sell Pines Road Fire Station

03-15-2019Front Page
Sump Pumps Must Not Drain Into Sanitary Sewers

03-07-2019Obituaries
Gerald F. Beyer

03-07-2019Obituaries
Thomas M. Bourgeois

03-07-2019Obituaries
Tracy L. Brendemihl

03-07-2019Obituaries
Gwen Lynn Broeder

03-07-2019Obituaries
Katherine M. Buchner

03-07-2019Obituaries
James E. Buelteman 

03-07-2019Obituaries
Verona M. Carlson

03-07-2019Obituaries
Andrew Chiesa

03-07-2019Obituaries
Ethel Fredrick

03-07-2019Obituaries
Rodney J. Glover

03-07-2019
Michele M. Harris

03-07-2019Obituaries
Alyce G. Hinz

03-07-2019Obituaries
Les Jones

03-07-2019Obituaries
Lynn A. Kitzinger

03-07-2019Obituaries
Sharon L. Kowalkowski

03-07-2019Obituaries
Elmer J. Magnuson

03-07-2019Obituaries
Thomas Malke

03-07-2019Obituaries
Glen E. Malloy

03-07-2019Obituaries
Joan E. Miller

03-07-2019Obituaries
Linda L. Nerat

03-07-2019Obituaries
Gerald D. Paris

03-07-2019Obituaries
Gerald J. Payette.

03-07-2019Obituaries
Edward Roeder

03-07-2019Obituaries
JaRon D. Scearce

03-07-2019Obituaries
Corrine C. Schroeder

03-07-2019Obituaries
Joyce L. Schroeder

03-07-2019Obituaries
Patricia A. Shatusky

03-07-2019Obituaries
Joyce Steinbrecher

03-07-2019Obituaries
Katharine Trinkl

03-07-2019
Sharon Weed

03-07-2019
Susan J. Wetthuhn

03-07-2019Obituaries
Roger G. Wickman

03-07-2019Obituaries
Mary A. Wills

03-07-2019Sports
Bulldog Boys Bowling Team Takes Bronze at State Tourney

03-07-2019Sports
Thunder Skate to Silver in WCHSHL Tournament

03-07-2019Sports
Rangers Defeat Tigers/Fall To Newman in Sectionals

03-07-2019Sports
Peshtigo/Suring Lose Regional Final Heartbreakers

03-07-2019Perspectives
Country Cousin

03-07-2019Perspectives
From My Window

03-07-2019Perspectives
From our readers

03-07-2019Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Town Board Gets "State of the School"

03-07-2019Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Lion's 9 Pin Tournament

03-07-2019Community - Wausaukee
St. Augustine Lenten Fish Fries

03-07-2019Community - Wausaukee
Silver Cliff Lists Card Party Winners

03-07-2019Community - Crivitz
Legion Plans for June 29 Run

03-07-2019Community - Crivitz
Middle Inlet Fire Department Officially Joins MABAS

03-07-2019Community - Crivitz
NewCare Topic of Mar. 11 Talk

03-07-2019Community - Crivitz
Sip For a Cause, Quilt Show Apr. 4

03-07-2019Community - Coleman
Broderick Seeks Pound Town Supervisor Post

03-07-2019Community - Coleman
Coleman School District to Meet March 11th

03-07-2019Community - Coleman
Coleman Water Sewer Committee to Meet

03-07-2019Community - Coleman
Wellness Conference At Pound Hillside

03-07-2019Front Page
Peshtigo City Council Puts Plans For Fish Viewing Platform Back On Track

03-07-2019Front Page
Tyco Hosting Open House On Groundwater Issues

03-07-2019Front Page
Marinette Public Works Rejects Street Bids

03-07-2019Front Page
Pound Seeks Volunteers For Parade Committee

03-07-2019Front Page
Coleman Welcomes New Businesses

02-28-2019Obituaries
Eugene R. Bellow


space
Peshtigo Times
WEB Poll!
Do you think Nancy Pelosi is doing a good job as Speaker of the House?
space Yes
No
Undecided
space
TO VOTE CLICK
YES, NO or UNDECIDED

Suggest a Question
space .
space
FRONT
space
.
space
CLASSIFIEDS
space
.
space
COMMUNITY
space
.
space
GUEST BOOK
space
.
space
NEWS
space
.
space
OBITS
space
.
space
PERSPECTIVES
space
.
space
SPORTS
space
.
space
SUBSCRIBE
space
.
space
.
space
PESHTIGO FIRE
space
.
space
CUSTOM PRINTING
space
.
space
TIMES' SAVER
space
.
space
Click for Peshtigo, Wisconsin Forecast
FORECAST
space
Quick...
News or Ad Search
Enter News key words.
Enter Ad key words.



Peshtigo Times
841 Maple St
PO Box 187
Peshtigo, WI 54157
Phone: 715-582-4541
Email:
News@
PeshtigoTimes.com

space
Fax: 715-582-4662
© 2000-2019
All right reserved
space
Powered by
WEB Media
Interactive
COMMUNITY
WEB sites