Wolf wondered why his parents named him Wolf. 

“Mom, why did you name me Wolf?” he asked his mom.

Mom sighed.  “Go ask your dad, it was his idea,” she said.

Wolf found his dad sitting in front of the TV.

“Dad, why did you name me Wolf?” Wolf asked.

Dad glanced up.  “Huh?” he said.  Then his eyes returned to the TV.

“Why did you name me Wolf?” Wolf repeated.

“It’s a cool name, isn’t it!” Dad said with enthusiasm.  “Tough!  Masculine!”

“It’s kinda different,” Wolf said.

“You bet!  That’s what I like about it!  If  your mom had her way you’d just be another Jerry.”

Wolf nodded and went back to his mom.

“Dad said it’s a cool, tough name,” Wolf told her. 

Mom sighed again.  “It was between Wolf and Butch, and Wolf won.”  She stopped her veggie chopping and looked up at him.  “If you don’t like it you can always go by your middle name, you know.”

Wolf’s lip curled slightly.  “Leland?” he said.

Mom nodded.

“No, I think I’ll stick with Wolf.”

Just then his little sister came in.  Mom’s face lit up.

“Hi Chiffon, honey!  How’s my little sweetheart?” 

Wolf rolled his eyes.  “I’m going to Rock’s room,” he said.

Last week my wife and I went to hear a Christmas concert by The Empire Brass–5 very talented gentleman playing two trumpets, a French horn, a trombone, and a tuba.  We had to drive through fresh, slippery snow–and very heavy traffic–to get there.  Because of that, we missed the first 3 or 4 pieces.  

The Empire Brass made it a lot of fun–very energetic, large doses of humor, Christmas Carol sing-alongs,  etc.  And to top it off, the drive home was quicker and safer!

The very next night I took my youngest daughter to see “White Christmas” on stage.  It was a wonderful, old-fashioned, musical extravaganza–complete with big dance numbers (even tap)!  At the end, after they sang “White Christmas,” they made it snow in the theater–on the audience too, not just on the stage.  It even melted (which I’m sure made the janitorial staff happy; no muss, no fuss). 

From my youth:     The whole family decorating the tree together while listening to our Mitch Miller Christmas Carol sing-along (and singing along!)…  Watching Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol on TV…   On Christmas morning my brother Ron was the “passer-outer” of the gifts…  The cardboard Santa face that Mom always hung on the dining room mirror…  Calling my best friend Jeff in the afternoon and asking, “What did ya get?”…   Mom’s voice on Christmas Eve, “Everybody stay in the TV room, I’m wrapping presents.”…   The pine smell from the wreath and tree…   Ignoring the TV and sitting in the living room staring at the lit-up tree…  Taking the bus downtown with my mom and walking from decorated store to decorated store…   Apple juice and fresh blueberry muffins on the good china for Christmas breakfast…   Singing carols around the piano…   Lots of good food and lots of cookies!  (I still love the cookies).