I keep hearing Frank Sinatra singing in my head. Does that ever happen to you?  A song gets stuck in your head and you can’t stop thinking about it?  “Have yourself a merry, little Christmas” keeps playing, over and over, in my head!

I decided to look up the exact words and was astounded at how suitable this song is for Christmas 2020! 

Did you know that “Have yourself a merry, little Christmas” was introduced in the 1944 movie musical, Meet Me in St. Louis? Judy Garland’s character sang it to her teary-eyed, little sister, trying to cheer her up as they faced having to move from their St. Louis home to New York. The message was “I know we’re sad, but hang in there, because there are better times ahead, next year.” 

Here are the words to the version of the song that Judy Garland sang:

Have yourself a merry, little Christmas
Let your heart be light
Next year, all our troubles will be out of sight
Have yourself a merry, little Christmas
Make the yuletide gay
Next year, all our troubles will be miles away

Once again, as in olden days
Happy, golden days of yore
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Gather near to us, once more
Someday soon, we all will be together
If the fates allow
Until then, we’ll have to muddle through, somehow.
And, have yourself a merry, little Christmas, now.


Aren’t those words amazingly appropriate?!?!  For those of us who love the holiday season, Christmas 2020 may be very different, and smaller. Choosing to be safe and wanting to lower the number of Coronavirus cases, many of us are staying at home. We don’t want to take the chance of making anyone sick, or becoming sick, ourselves. This is a hard decision, and my heart aches for all of us.

Judy Garland concluded with an appropriate message for this year’s Christmas:

“Someday soon, we all will be together,” she sang, “if the fates allow. Until then, we’ll have to muddle through somehow …”

How might we muddle through this holiday season, despite the pandemic?
Usually, when we gather with family and friends, we find ourselves reminiscing about past memories. Would you be willing to reminisce with me about a Christmas memory? Maybe, it was an experience you had, or a gift that you will always remember receiving. 

I’d like to share one of my Christmas stories with you – 

Nothing for Christmas

Christmas morning had finally arrived.  I was eight years old, and my brother, Joey, was seven.  We ran into the living room to find lots of gifts under the tree.  But that year, something was different.  There were two large, unwrapped cardboard boxes in the middle of the living room.  The short box was marked “To Joey – Love Santa”. The tall box was marked “To Betty – Love Santa”.

Joey ran to his box which was about two feet tall. It had little yelping sounds coming from it.  He peeked into the box. Santa had brought him a puppy!  I couldn’t wait to see what Santa had brought me. I approached the four-foot, tall box, stood on my tip toes, but was too short to peer over the edge.  So, I pulled up a chair to stand on, and looked inside the box. 

There was nothing inside my box.  Nothing.  I remember thinking “why would Santa bring me nothing?”  Then, I looked to my parents who both appeared confused and alarmed.  Being eight years old, I interpreted their expressions to mean only one thing. Santa had brought me nothing. I must have been bad.

I started to cry.  To this day, I remember thinking that I had been a good girl this past year but guess I should have been better.  In the meantime, my parents were frantically searching in the living room, under the tree, behind the sofa. I just kept crying. 

Suddenly, the Christmas tree and all its ornament started shaking.  We all stopped, looked and listened.  There were the eyes of a tiny and scared kitten peering out from the branches of the tree.  The kitten had escaped from the box and was hiding in the tree.  My Dad reached into the prickly, Christmas tree and with some effort, pulled out the kitten and handed it to me. 

What a relief! I had been a good girl after all. Santa had brought me a kitten for Christmas!

Do you have a Christmas story you’d be willing to share?

If you feel inspired, please tell us about a special gift you received, or an experience you had, that touched your heart. The story should be a few paragraphs, and you may want to give it a title. Sign it with your first name only and the initial of your last name. Then, email it to me at Bettyvk@avalonhearing.com. I need to receive all the stories by December 20th. We are going to take all of your stories and put them together. 

On Christmas morning, you’ll find these Christmas stories in the inbox of your email (not under the tree). Think of it as giving a gift to the other members of the Avalon Family!  And all of us, reading your story, will be our gift to you!!

Yours for CONNECTED Hearing & Living,

Betty Vosters Kemp

P.S. Despite the pandemic, we are having a safe and socially distanced 12 Days of Christmas Hearing Mission on December 21. Twelve people from our community will receive the GIFT OF BETTER HEARING and HOPE for Christmas. I’ll share some of their stories with you next week.