Erin's Journals

Friday, December 23, 2022

Hello there and Merry Christmas!

Here it is: the pass-the-gift game we’ll be playing on Christmas Day. Just watch the video on my Facebook page, or here on YouTube and have fun – we sure do.  

*Just make sure there are more than two people playing and that everyone starts with a small present in hand (something that anyone taking part could appreciate). When you hear the word RIGHT, whether spelled R-I-G-H-T or only sounds like it, you pass to the right…and same with the word LEFT. Only one spelling of that one! Have fun.

The Story of the Wright Brothers’ Christmas

Once upon a time, there were two brothers. Orville Wright and Wilbur Wright. They lived in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, right near Raleigh. Orville and Wilbur never left home; instead they stayed in Kitty Hawk and decided they wanted to fly.

How could that be right? No one had ever flown a plane for more than just a few seconds. And usually those flying machines were left in pieces on the ground.

But Orville and Wilbur had the right stuff. They said, “Leave it to us!” So, people left it to them. After all, what right did anyone have to say that they couldn’t fly – right?

These two Wright brothers built a little airplane. They built it with parts left over from their tractor and even used a surfboard for the right wing.

This left everyone laughing. But you know who didn’t laugh? Their mother. Orville Wright and Wilbur Wright decided to write a letter to their mother, who had left earlier that month to visit Paris and its famous Left Bank.

“Dear Mom,” they did write. “You left too soon! We are right about to take our first flight, but before we do, we wanted to tell you about it.” Orville was the one to write the letter, as Wilbur was left-handed and couldn’t write as well as Orville.

They told their mom about the flight, left it in the mailbox down the street and got ready to fly.

On a chilly December 24th, right before Christmas, Orville and Wilbur got into their plane. A priest, who worried they might not make it, came and gave them last rites. But they said, “Oh no, Father, we’ll be all right! Besides, we haven’t even left yet!”

They started their plane and it began right away. They flew a little to the left, and then a little to the left again…and then up and down and then…to the left. “Uh-oh,” said Wilbur, “this ain’t right.” So then they tried to straighten up and fly right, but instead, the plane just kept going up – up – up!

As the Wright brothers started to panic, their plane continued its ascent. Up over rooftops, up through the clouds, so far above they couldn’t see the crowds. (Not that there was anyone left; it was late and it was Christmas eve).

All of a sudden, over the whirr of the little plane’s struggling propellers, the Wright brothers could hear a sound. Wait, thought Wilbur, that can’t be right!

“Do you hear bells?” asked Orville.

They did! They did hear bells! They looked above them, they looked to the right…they looked below and they looked to the left…. And what should they see, right there beside them?

None other than Santa Claus and a magical sleigh being pulled by eight reindeer!

“Hey!” shouted Santa, “what are you doing here? It’s my turn to fly – you haven’t the gear! You land that plane right now, before you crash badly.”

“Okay,” said the Wright brothers, nodding quite sadly. “But we don’t know the way – I guess we did goof….”

And Santa said, “Follow! I’ll land on your roof!”

So that’s what they did, and they followed Santa and his reindeer, led by Rudolph’s glowing red nose. Down, down, they went. Turning left and left again…until right below them was their house.

As Santa and his reindeer landed and quickly left their presents, and then flew off into the night skies again, Orville and Wilbur Wright put that little plane down gently on a snow-covered farm field right next to their house.

“All right!” they exclaimed as they climbed from the plane and left it behind to run and see what Santa had left.

For Orville, a pair of flying goggles and a can of Right Guard deodorant. For Wilbur, a baseball glove so he could play left field with the Kitty Hawk Kittens team come spring.

And right there under the tree, the best gift of all?

Santa left them a map and a note saying “Don’t fall!”

The story is over now, hold on to your gift: no passing, no sassing…just open what you got!

Rob WhiteheadFriday, December 23, 2022