• Christmas is Christmas because of the ones you love

    In our house, Christmas meant so many different things: Giving, faith, fun and especially family. We always understood that no matter what, nothing was more important than all these things.

    We often look back at all our moments and, man, do we laugh at the fun we all shared in the Holmes household. When you raise six kids, believe me, things can get a little crazy during the holidays.

  • Remembering stores, people and reason for the season

    As I think about memories of Christmas time, I can’t help going back to early childhood days in Elizabethtown. Christmas Day was an all-day event with family time, including dinner, sharing of gifts and storytelling.

  • Recipe lost to time but memories remain as sweet as ever

    Like most children who grew up small Kentucky towns, my earliest holiday memories are of family, presents and lots of good food. My mother and both grandmothers were great cooks and meals around the big dining room table were part of our family’s holiday tradition.

    But, in particular, there was something special about the fruit salad.

  • 12 Views of Christmas: About this series

    At the request of The News-Enterprise, 12 members of the community have agreed to share holiday stories on the Opinion pages leading up to Christmas.

    Along the way, readers will share in precious memories developed by family celebrations including the legacy of handicrafted toys and how a fruit salad comes to represent love.

    The guest writers will offer insight from other cultures and experiences and share the power of a Christmas Eve sermon to transform a life.

  • Making a list and checking it for a surprise

    Surprising someone with just the right gift is a risky business, even if you think you know the person well.

    I chuckle every time I think of that cartoon of the husband standing outside his bedroom door in his pajamas, wearing some ridiculous looking bunny slippers, trying to coax his wife out, pleading repentantly, “Mildred, I’m sorry. I really do like my bunny slippers.”

    We’ve all received one of “those” gifts. What to do with them?

  • Surrounded by darkness in early winter

    It gets dark very early these days. It’s one of the things I hate about winter.

    The thought bounced around in my head while driving Interstate 65 on a 180-mile round trip. Leaving immediately after work and on the highway within 15 minutes, yet that’s already dusk. Darkness would arrive before I crossed the county line.

  • Vietnam vet suggests ways to help returning soldiers

    No matter how well-adjusted returning or returned veterans appear, they likely are carrying wounds that cut deep and that pain sticks with them for the rest of their lives.

    When I came back from the war, I filed all that pain away as ‘personal,’ but it invariably came out in my creative writing and I think that kept me much more sane.

  • As Congress approaches 'cliff,' its public standing is shaky

    As we move deeper into December, the question for Congress is this: Can members of the House and Senate do something to make the public feel more positive about Congress’s competence or will 2012 end on the familiar note of Americans taking an unrelievedly dim view of Congress’s job performance?

  • Community's laws should reflect its belief in fairness

    I‘ve always thought of Elizabethtown as “fair” city — at least for my partner, Sue, and me. We’ve never been turned away from a restaurant or had a problem finding a place to live just because of who we are.

  • Tell me another story, Mr. Lincoln

    I wonder what Abe Lincoln would think about all the fuss with Steven Spielberg’s epic movie, “Lincoln.”

    I can hear a reporter asking the ghost of Mr. Lincoln, “Did you ever think your popularity would soar even beyond its already lofty heights? And how does this development affect your assessment of your own place in history?”