Category Archives: Christmas

The miracle of Christmas is hope and love

Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall Christmasby Robert Gillis
Published in The Foxboro Reporter 12/2002
and the Boston City Paper 12/2006

It’s 10:56 Thursday evening. ER is over and it’s time to walk the pups. I get my coat on, get the leash on the dog, flashlight in pocket, and I’m out the door. The air is crisp, and my mind is on a hundred other things.

It happens so fast. There’s no warning — just that sick recognition that something is wrong but there’s no time to do anything about it, like the moment before the car door locks and you realize the keys are still in the ignition.

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Reflections on Christmas 2001, three months after the attacks

12 America - US Flag flying at Hull Yacht Clubby Robert Gillis
Published in The Foxboro Reporter

It’s Christmas 2001. Hard to believe, isn’t it?

It’s only been three months since September 11. With all that’s happened, many us are thinking, how could we enjoy Christmas this year? Should we even try?

After all, while we decorate trees and make cookies, our soldiers are in Afghanistan, facing death every day as they fight for our freedom and way of life.

While we send Christmas cards, others are searching for who is putting anthrax in the US Mail.

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Finding the perfect Christmas tree

Quincy Market Christmas Treeby Robert Gillis
Published in The Foxboro Reporter December 2000 and the Boston City Paper December 2006

When I was four, I tried to climb up the Christmas tree and knocked it down on top of myself. When I was 10, I nearly set the Christmas tree on fire by fiddling with the wires, causing a display of pyrotechnics that my mother reminds me about every chance she gets. For some strange reason, Mom continues to use an artificial tree every year.

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Foxboro Senior Center Christmas fair

Robert Gillis
Published in The Foxboro Reporter November 2000

Every year, it seems like the Christmas sales start earlier, and the decorations are in the stores sooner. The corporations begin their annual holiday blitzkrieg, inundating us with sale after sale.

It’s easy to become jaded as Christmas becomes more and more commercialized and arrives sooner every year. Many people choose to ignore the pre-Christmas hype.

However, there is a special Christmas event that takes place quite early (yet for a very good reason) and one that is well worth a visit.

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Christmas 1999

 

by Robert Gillis
Published in The Foxboro Reporter December 1999

Thankfully, the recent tragic fire at LaSallette Shrine didn’t prevent the annual spectacular Christmas Light display from going on as planned. I’ve made three visits there in the last few weeks — I found each visit cathartic; an antidote to the frenzied insanity of this holiday season. So much of the season becomes a great list of things to do, that somehow the idea of magic, joy and real meaning gets lost in the pile of glittery wrapping paper and credit card bills.

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Ghosts of Christmases Past

Red and Green Christmas Bulbby Robert Gillis
published in the Foxboro Reporter, 12/1998

The little boy, all of four years old, is laying mechanic-style underneath the Christmas tree, his tiny feet poking out amid the brightly-colored wrapped gifts. He’s surrounded by the smell of the fresh pine, fascinated as he watches the amazing kaleidoscope of light and reflections off ornaments and tinsel. Suddenly, the unthinkable happens. In a swift motion, the tree has fallen over, pinning him under it.

Our hero isn’t hurt but just a little startled.

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You just gotta believe!

by Robert GillisKennebunkport - Christmas Display
Published in the Foxboro Reporter, 12/1996

In a week filled with an office Christmas party, two family tree trimmings, a movie with friends, picking up our own tree, addressing cards, more Christmas shopping, not to mention everyday life, my thoughts keep drifting back to a simpler Christmas time – and how I got back some of the childhood magic.

Over twenty years ago, Mom, Theresa and I would make our annual Christmas shopping trip into Boston an extremely enjoyable day.

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Christmas Thoughts, 1996

Green Christmas Ornamentby Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter, 12/1996

A note from Bob, 1/2014: This is one of my very first columns for the Reporter and nowhere near anything I consider “good writing” it’s a bit too all over the place and has too many topics, but I include it here because it is one of the earliest efforts and shows my genuine gratitude for the privilege to be able to write for the Foxboro Reporter — something I still cherish to this day.

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