December 28 2018,  Saugus

’Tis the season

’Tis the season

By The Old Sachem, Bill Stewart


During the Christmas season we all have happy thoughts of Christmas of old. We have wonderful thoughts of family and friends during this time. Some of my special memories I’d like to share with readers.

To start, my two favorite movies of the season are “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” with the lights and personalities, and “A Christmas Story.” I really like the scene where the dogs steal the turkey, which moves the family to an Asian restaurant. I always laugh when the waiters sing “Jingle Bells” in the version of English. The Japanese pronounce the l’s as rrs and the v’s as bees. They sing “Jingaw Bewws, Jingaw Bewws, Jingaw Bewws, Jingaw Aww The Way.” It reminds me of listening to Japanese on radio singing American hit songs, and the most hysterical is “Everybody Loves A Lover” which comes out as “Ebrey Rubs A Rubber.” My favorite hymns are “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” and “Silent Night” – “Stille Nacht” in German.

I spent two years in northern Japan on the island of Hokkaido. My wife, Polly, joined me with our oldest son, Will, and during our time in the orient, our second son, Bob, was born, which leads me to my favorite commercial Christmas song, “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” because we had Christmas Rotation and barely made Massachusetts on Christmas. We sailed from Yokohama on the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and proceeded to Adak, Alaska, to pick up some naval personnel, then on to San Francisco, then home.

Did you know that the song “White Christmas” has been recorded in over 500 languages, and the United States harvests about 500,000 Christmas trees per year? The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree was not lit up during World War II because of saving for electricity reductions. And the state of Alabama was the first to create the Christmas Holiday in the early 1800’s. I like to listen to the TV channels 1540 to 1550, mostly “Light Classical,” but Holiday music during the holidays. They had these facts along with the music.

And so I wish you all Happy Holidays whatever your religion, and ask for peace and prosperity in the world in the coming year.

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