Merry Christmas to all

The holidays may not be what they were, but they're still special

Opinion

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By Arlene Jones

Columnist

Merry Christmas!

That is my wish for everyone reading this column. No matter your religion or cultural background, the beauty of this country has always been its religious tolerance and how that tolerance works both ways. 

Growing up, my friends were Apostolic, Baptist, Catholic and Jehovah's Witnesses, while I was Presbyterian. And yet, we all accepted each other's religion. I attended mass with one friend and went to Bible study at Kingdom Hall with another. I listened in amazement at the sounds of a drum set being played in the small storefront church. I giggled under my breath at the sight of women who would claim to "speak in tongues" and then fall out all over the floor in religious spasms while noting that the men never did. We never chided those who didn't celebrate Christmas and they came to all our houses to play with our toys, even though they didn't have any new ones. It was a wonderful era to grow up in.

Although I am not mad that we haven't had a ton of snow, the lack of it does make the season seem strange. So if we can have a snowfall late on Christmas Eve and a snow blanket around for Christmas Day before it melts the rest of the winter, I will be grateful.

I am grateful to still be alive and relatively healthy this year. Growing old is an adventure and even though my mind feels the same as it did when I was twenty, my body's reality is that it has been decades on this earth. So when I feel an ache or a pain, the "it's going away" line is really not true. In 2016, I'm making a pledge to try and exercise more and spend more time on all my projects and less time lying in bed. 

I recently came across a bargain on upholstery fabric. Anyone who has ever gone into the fabric store knows that the cost can be quite prohibitive. So to find four yards of fabric for fewer than $10 made me very, very happy. I spent three days removing the old covers from the chairs which were purchased over twenty years ago and will replace the covers with a similarly colored fabric.

I have to be finished by the end of January 2016, so expect a column on my journey in the re-upholstery world.  I actually bought two pieces of fabric, so the bigger piece will go towards reupholstering a chair a neighbor threw out and I took in. That will be an even greater challenge, since it's a vintage, padded armchair.  I've been watching all the YouTube videos I can to understand the process. If it doesn't work out, the chair was free and, again, the fabric was under $10. But I'm pretty handy, so I expect to create a success. I'll take pictures and let you be the judge when I write about the fun and joy of it all.

Tomorrow, Dec. 24, I am going to join in the march which begins at noon at Michigan Avenue and Wacker to protest the Laquan McDonald shooting. When we place an economic pressure on this city, we can see results. Shamefully, many of you reading this column didn't come out to vote during the municipal election or for the special run-off Election. 

Every election is important and should never be put on the "wait till later" schedule. But even more than that, those who our tax dollars pay do not get the right to kill us and then lie about it.  

As you gather and spend time with family, friends and loved ones, please take a moment for serious conversations.  

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