space
space
Peshtigo Times
space
space
space
Perspectives
* From Our Readers
space
space
Sports Shorts
* Marinette Falls To Menominee; Recovers Against Double Days
* Sauter Claims First at Norway Speedway
* Redbirds Secure Hard Fought Win Over Cecil
* Marinette Wins Old-Timers Game Over Menominee
* Menominee Ends Six-Year M&M Baseball Skid; Defeats Marinette in Shootout 16-15

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
07-11-2019Front Page
Crivitz Food Pantry Golf Outing Raises $10,000

07-11-2019Front Page
County May Ask Legislators For Help With DNR Permits

07-11-2019Front Page
No Grass Clippings In Peshtigo Streets

07-11-2019Front Page
Marinette Council Refers Dog Issue Back To Parks

07-11-2019Front Page
Green Bay Man Drowns After Falling From Raft

07-11-2019Community - Wausaukee
Town of Stephenson Discusses Plowing Private Road Issue

07-11-2019Community - Wausaukee
2nd Installment Taxes Due by July 31st

07-11-2019Community - Wausaukee
Thank You To Veterans"From The Village of Wausaukee

07-11-2019Community - Wausaukee
Athelstane Fireman's Picnic, Parade July 13

07-11-2019Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Woman's Club Gives Over $20,000

07-11-2019Community - Crivitz
Area Students Write Essays for Scholarship

07-11-2019Community - Crivitz
Caregiver Connection Support Group July 22

07-11-2019Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Class of ඒ To Meet Sept. 21st

07-11-2019Community - Coleman
Grant Helps Lena Club Showcase Off-Road Racing

07-11-2019Community - Coleman
CCBA Sell-A-Bration in Coleman Sept. 21

07-11-2019Community - Coleman
Gillett's Club 22/32 Offers U-Haul Products

07-11-2019Community - Coleman
Coleman ൳-'65 Reunion July 14

07-11-2019Sports
Marinette Falls To Menominee; Recovers Against Double Days

07-11-2019Sports
Sauter Claims First at Norway Speedway

07-11-2019Sports
Redbirds Secure Hard Fought Win Over Cecil

07-11-2019Sports
Marinette Wins Old-Timers Game Over Menominee

07-11-2019Perspectives
From Our Readers

07-11-2019Perspectives
Country Cousin

07-11-2019Perspectives
From My Window

07-11-2019Obituaries
Jeff M. Bersch

07-11-2019Obituaries
Mary L. Chernetski

07-11-2019Obituaries
Kenneth W. Enderby

07-11-2019Obituaries
Brian J. Fournier

07-11-2019Obituaries
Nancy M. Grandaw

07-11-2019Obituaries
Lois Hudson

07-11-2019Obituaries
Alice H. Johnson

07-11-2019Obituaries
Suzanne M. Kuran

07-11-2019Obituaries
Jerry I. Marquardt

07-11-2019Obituaries
Ardyth M. McDonald

07-11-2019Obituaries
Robert D. Miller

07-11-2019Obituaries
Raymond Millette

07-11-2019Obituaries
Arlene A. Mitchell

07-11-2019Obituaries
Dorothy M. Moen

07-11-2019Obituaries
Norbert A. Novitski

07-11-2019Obituaries
Helen G. Zeitler

07-11-2019Obituaries
Russell H. Walters

07-11-2019Obituaries
Shirley A. Younk

07-03-2019Front Page
Peshtigo Gets Results Of PFAS/PFOS Sludge Tests

07-03-2019Front Page
City Committee Discusses Drones, Vaping Concerns

07-03-2019Front Page
Marinette County Breakfast On The Farm Serves Over 4,300

07-03-2019Front Page
Chief Judge James Morrison to Chair Committee of Chief Judges

07-03-2019Community - Crivitz
Nine Members at Auxiliary Meet

07-03-2019Community - Crivitz
3rd Annual PTSD Run a Success

07-03-2019Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Rummage Sale Aug. 8-10

07-03-2019Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Rescue Offers Suicide Awareness

07-03-2019Community - Coleman
Pound Fire Department Fundraiser A Success

07-03-2019Community - Coleman
Golf Scramble July 26 To Benefit New Beginnings

07-03-2019Community - Coleman
Yoga on Beach at Oconto Falls

07-03-2019Community - Coleman
Lena Announces Lunch Price Hike

07-03-2019Sports
Menominee Ends Six-Year M&M Baseball Skid; Defeats Marinette in Shootout 16-15

07-03-2019Sports
Track & Field/Cross Country Rule Changes Recommended

07-03-2019Sports
Peshtigo Youth Track & Field Program is a Huge Success

07-03-2019Sports
Expanded Designated Hitter Role Coming to High School Baseball

07-03-2019Perspectives
From Our Readers

07-03-2019Perspectives
Country Cousin

07-03-2019Perspectives
From My Window

07-03-2019Obituaries
Jonathan A. Bruso

07-03-2019Obituaries
Robert Chrusniak

07-03-2019Obituaries
Irene A. Kaptena

07-03-2019Obituaries
Suzanne M. Kuran

07-03-2019Obituaries
Lynne A. Mainik

07-03-2019Obituaries
Ellis E. Mercier

07-03-2019Obituaries
Wallace R. Olson

07-03-2019Obituaries
Diane M. Pawlak

07-03-2019Obituaries
Robert C. Purvayn

07-03-2019Obituaries
George Schussler

07-03-2019Obituaries
Mary L. Tenarvitz

07-03-2019Obituaries
Kathleen Thoune

07-03-2019Obituaries
Deanna L. Zempel

06-27-2019Front Page


06-27-2019Front Page
Marinette County Breakfast on the Farm is June 30th

06-27-2019Front Page
County Selects Architect For Ella Court Renovation

06-27-2019Front Page
McClintock Park Murder Suspect To Face Trial

06-27-2019Front Page
Thompson Classic Boat Event Saturday

06-27-2019Community - Wausaukee
Urgent Need for Area Blood Donors

06-27-2019Community - Wausaukee
Amberg Historical Seeks Museum Help

06-27-2019Community - Wausaukee
Beecher Okays ATV Access From L to 141

06-27-2019Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Farmers Market Starts July 3

06-27-2019Community - Crivitz
Sand Lake Conservation Camp a Success in Marinette County

06-27-2019Community - Crivitz
Lea Schneider Receives Edward Jones Award

06-27-2019Community - Crivitz
Schlenvoght is Parade Marshal

06-27-2019Community - Crivitz
Niagara Lions Community Picnic Set for June 28-29

06-27-2019Community - Coleman
Golden Agers Card Club Results

06-27-2019Community - Coleman
OF Senior Card Club Results

06-27-2019Community - Coleman
LCS 17 Completes Acceptance Trials

06-27-2019Community - Coleman
Coleman ൳-'65 Reunion July 14

06-27-2019Sports
Post 139 Takes 2nd at Escanaba Tourney

06-27-2019Sports
Jacobson Youth Fishing Tourney Held in Peshtigo

06-27-2019Sports
Red Wave Has Fantastic Week Of Legion Baseball

06-27-2019Sports
Webster, Stratford, Antigo, Eau Claire North Win State Baseball Titles

06-27-2019Perspectives
From Our Readers

06-27-2019Perspectives
Country Cousin

06-27-2019Perspectives
From My Window

06-27-2019Obituaries
Thomas E. Behnke

06-27-2019Obituaries
Michael J. Bellisle

06-27-2019Obituaries
Alex Betzinger

06-27-2019Obituaries
Mary A. Domnick

06-27-2019Obituaries
Howard J. De Lorme Sr.

06-27-2019Obituaries
Florence T. England

06-27-2019Obituaries
Dawn M. Freeman 

06-27-2019Obituaries
Gordon E. Gates

06-27-2019Obituaries
Michael A. Gazler

06-27-2019Obituaries
Shirley N. Gosenheimer

06-27-2019Obituaries
Eleanor I. Gould

06-27-2019Obituaries
Frank W. Marecek

06-27-2019Obituaries
Delmer J. Moriva

06-27-2019Obituaries
Gary S. Mosconi

06-27-2019Obituaries
Della Rakers

06-27-2019Obituaries
Harold A. Richlen

06-27-2019Obituaries
Robert J. Schuchart

06-27-2019Obituaries
Marion E. Strohl

06-27-2019Obituaries
Alice M. Swanson

06-27-2019Obituaries
Fr. James Vennix

06-20-2019Front Page


06-20-2019Front Page
Surveying Hot Topic At Town Of Peshtigo

06-20-2019Front Page
Marinette Marine Launches LCS-21, Future USS Minneapolis-St. Paul

06-20-2019Front Page
Village Of Pound Seeks New Clerk/Treasurer

06-20-2019Front Page
Select Smokey The Bear As Wausaukee Parade Marshall

06-20-2019Community - Wausaukee
Athelstane Board to Add Public Comment

06-20-2019Community - Wausaukee
Town of Sliver Cliff Board Hears Commission Report

06-20-2019Community - Wausaukee
Town of Wausaukee Closes Road for Special Event

06-20-2019Community - Wausaukee
Authors Signing at Wausaukee Library

06-20-2019Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Plans July 4th Parade, Music, Fireworks in Crivitz

06-20-2019Community - Crivitz
Country Gospel Jam is Friday, June 21st

06-20-2019Community - Crivitz
Pie, Ice Cream Social at Crivitz Church July 4th

06-20-2019Community - Crivitz
Crivitz High School 4th Quarter Honor Roll

06-20-2019Community - Coleman
Oconto Falls Teachers Give Presentations

06-20-2019Community - Coleman
Judge Patz Attends Administration Seminar

06-20-2019Community - Coleman
Lena High School List 4th Quarter Honor Roll

06-20-2019Community - Coleman
Students at Lena Middle School Earn 4th Qtr. Honors

06-20-2019Sports
MVP Split Between Three For 2019

06-20-2019Sports
Huberty Gets Coleman's 4th Striaght MVP

06-20-2019Sports
Peshtigo Athletes Picked For Post-Season Honors

06-20-2019Sports
Casper Leads Coleman With 3rd Golf MVP

06-20-2019Perspectives
From Our Readers

06-20-2019Perspectives
Country Cousin

06-20-2019Perspectives
From My Window

06-20-2019Obituaries
Sandra M. Bartoszek

06-20-2019Obituaries
Louis J. Burg

06-20-2019Obituaries
Shirley M. Champeau

06-20-2019Obituaries
William Colvin

06-20-2019Obituaries
Audrey Hampton

06-20-2019Obituaries
Eugene W. Howe

06-20-2019Obituaries
Matthew J. Kmit

06-20-2019Obituaries
Ralph E. Liegeois


space
Peshtigo Times
WEB Poll!
Did you attend any firework shows over the Fourth of July?
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