Page A2 / The Joan
De Arc Crusader / Saturday, December 24, 2022
Sahuaro School A3 /
ďDoubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.Ē Ė Voltaire
Letter from the Editor
By J. Bueker
of two trees
The evolutionary pace of holiday decoration technology has
accelerated impressively in recent years. Our
home for instance is adorned this holiday season with one of the latest
and greatest of these modern-day marvels of technical virtuosity: a
seven-and-a-half-foot tall Mr. Christmas LED 55-Function Tree with Alexa
Integration. This baby is beyond amazing.
The Mr. Christmas tree features nine different color options that combine
with six distinct light functions to deliver 54 possible combinations of
shimmering holiday beauty, all of which can be selected and controlled by
voice activation via Alexa. The lights can be made to fade, flip, sparkle,
and twinkle, or if you are in an old-fashioned sort of mood, set simply to
an old-school steady glow. Essentially, we now have 54 different
beautifully lit Christmas trees at our command.
As I behold the glowing spectacle of this incredible high-tech Yuletide
wonder, my thoughts inevitably meander back in time to that palpably
primitive era of the Buekerís very first Christmas celebration on Joan De
Arc Avenue in 1963, which took place almost immediately upon our arrival
at 3219. I remember precious little about that first JDA Christmas with
one very important exception: my kindergarten twig Christmas tree.
I was attending kindergarten at the Westown Community Church that inagural
year in Arizona, and as Christmas approached, our teacher Mrs. Williams
assigned to us an adorable little holiday project: our very own hand-made
Tannenbaums. Leading us outside the church to a shrub that was growing on
a railing alongside 33rd Avenue at the time, our teacher instructed us
each to break off an appropriately small branch, which we dutifully
carried back to our classroom. There we painted the twig a shiny gold,
embedded it in a mound of green clay decorated with small colored pebbles,
and topped it off with miniature ornaments and garland.
For the next dozen Christmases, I proudly displayed my kindergarten twig
tree in the living room at 3219 and later in my bedroom (as I entered
puberty, I became a bit more self-conscious about my sentimental little
tradition). Looking back now, I suppose it was a silly little custom in
one sense, and yet it exemplifies for me the timeless sentiment that the
beauty of the Christmas season ultimately resides in our hearts and minds
and memories, and not in any of the increasingly dazzling exterior
manefestations of the holiday with which we insist upon decorating our
homes, streets, and cities each year. My kindergarten Christmas tree
ultimately disappeared into oblivion when we departed Joan De Arc Avenue
and I mourn its loss still.
And so, as a fun
and whimsical little Christmas project this month, I set about to
re-create my long-lost kindergarten twig holiday tree. After selecting a
suitable branch from a shrub in our backyard, I procured some green clay,
gold spray paint, and colored pebbles, and minutes later voila Ė what is
old is new. I am displaying my new kindergarten twig Christmas tree near
our Mr. Christmas LED colossus as a stark reminder of a much simpler
Yuletide time and place.
So enjoy your holiday
tree dear readers, whatever it may be! A very happy Christmas and
prosperous New Year to all.
We welcome your letters at
from around the block (writerís)
Seasonís Greetings, fellow Joan De Arc-o-nauts. Once again
Christmas time is upon us and you know what that means: itís time to come
up with an original idea for a Chuckís Corner end-of-the-year column. This
has become an increasingly more difficult task because Iím pretty sure I
ran out of good ideas a decade ago and have resorted to recycling old
material ever since.
Okay, more than a decade
ago. Shut up.
I could always pull out the
ďYear in ReviewĒ shtick, but 2022 was too weird to even attempt a parody.
We did get some new babies in the family, which is a blessing, but too
much of the news in the world has been depressing and hardly worthy of the
kind of holly jolly entertainment that we here at Chuckís Corner strive to
deliver this time of year. Hard pass on that idea.
Iím pretty sure Iíve recounted every old Christmas memory that ever
existed within my skull several times here already. I swear Iím not going
to be one of those old guys who repeats himself endlessly and Iím sure as
heck not going to be one of those old guys who repeats himself endlessly.
Who has two thumbs and doesnít repeat himself endlessly? This guy. (Thumb
Oh, how about a story on New Yearís
resolutions? Iím personally resolving to try to be more patient in 2023
because I really, really need to do that a lot and so does literally
everybody else from what I can see, so letís all just do that, okay? Not
going to fill a lot of column inches with this idea because that about
Holiday poem? Did it. Every other
good idea I can think of? Iíve probably already done it, but how am I
supposed to know? Iím old! The one thing I absolutely have not done yet,
however, is to write an entire story about how I cannot possibly come up
with a good new story idea.
I guess Iíll have
to save that one for next year. Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New
Sahuaro School A3 /