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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » A Christmas Story (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Profile of Chrystal
Everyone gather round...I've got a neat Christmas story to share, and am hoping others will follow suit and post their own special Christmas stories that shows the true meaning of Christmas.

I grew up in a multi-ethnic neighborhood,which ranged from young families to old people. Everyone knew everyone (and still do) and the community has a very friendly atmosphere. A few years ago in November a very sad thing happened..two elderly ladies were murdered (home invasions) and the neighborhood was in shock. Nothing like this had ever happened in these quiet residentional blocks. This quiet family neighborhood decided to do something in honor of these woman the following month...they lit their trees outside with beautiful white lights. Block after block followed suit. It was truly touching.

The following year something incredible happened...their homes also became decorated with lights --every single house for blocks participated. Neighbors strung up lights for the ones that were unable to.

Then more good stuff happened ...The Downtown East side Association which operates homes for battered woman and their children, operate soup kitchens for the poor and homeless got involved. "What if", they said,"we sell tickets for 2 dollars at the grocery store and have a friendly competition for all the blocks and an individual home prize as well?" The residents loved the idea! Money raised will be split 50% between the Downtown association and this neighborhood for it's park and Childrens playground as well as a Hospice that is also in the area.

Five years running this competition has been occuring and they've even added one more competition. The Jeff ___ ballod stuffing contest, LOL! One enterprising person brought the tickets to his work and sold over 1,000 worth!!! As it was all for a good cause no one was upset and they gave him his own award and it still holds for others that want to do the same thing.

Last year, the nightly news broadcast from my mom's house as she won the contest for best decorated house. This year she has recieved calls from 4 tv stations already. Busloads of people from all over the city arrange Christmas Light tours and this area is always on the list. Can you imagine 7 blocks of homes and every home is decorated with lights!! I should mention my mom is on disability pension but she spends the year gathering or making stuff to decorate her home. It's not to win, although that gives her a kick but it's the neighborhood coming together as one and the comeradie that exist as each neighbor tries to outdo the other all for the sake of raising money for a great cause.

For the month of December there are hundreds of people in the street..giving away hot chocolate, meeting their neighbors, giving candy to the kids and all admiring each others homes. It's reminds me of a little neighborhood that could. These two woman have left such a legacy and would be proud of their neighbors. Last year 12,000 dollars was raised in one month from 2 dollar tickets to vote on their favorite block or home! Every penny went to helping the community and the other community which I mentioned earlier. Kinda neat huh?

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Profile of Payne
Boy this is a lot better than what my home town used to do for Christmas.
When I was growing up every year at Christmas time the City Council would have a block of low income housing (what we then called flop houses) torched. Seven years in a row this happened. December would come and a flea-bag hotel would "mysteriously" burn down. The city fathers for years used arson as a way of promoting civic improvements.
Glad to see the Christmas spirit is alive elsewhere though.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
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Snohomish, Washington
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Profile of irossall
I envy you Payne. All that ever got lit up in my town was an old Christmas tree in the town square. To think that the city fathers would have the courtesy to torch an entire house so the town could have an old fashioned bon-fire is great. Pass the marshmallows.
Iven Smile
Give the gift of Life, Be an Organ Donor.
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Profile of Payne
Actually the story has a happy ending of sorts.

Our town had a grand old vaudevillemovie house that was owned by the local Movie Theater Magnate. It eventually fell into disrepair and he sold it to the city. A few months after the purchase low and behold the place went up in flames. The city fathers then unveiled their plans for a new, modern, shiny and soul-less performing arts center.
Fortunately the torch whose services they had engaged blew the job and the place was only gutted, the exterior walls were still standing.
The citizens of my home town had finally had enough and said "No, your not foisting this lifeless hunk of junk on us, your going to restore the theatre".
It was then discovered that it had been woefully under insured.
The people of my fair city took this in stride and raised the neccessary fund to complete the restoration.
They did an excellent job restoring it to it's turn of the century splendour, tey even found the guy who had painted the original mural on the ceiling and brought him back to supervise it's repainting.
It's amazing what people can do when they put ther minds to it.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
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