Dear Smiley: A few years ago I shared the Christmas story with my now 10-year-old granddaughter, Emily.
I went into great detail — Joseph had to go to Bethlehem to register for the census, Mary was nine months pregnant, there was no room at the inn, the baby was born in a manger.
Emily's response: "WOW! What did the doctor think about THAT?"
Dear Smiley: Reading about the live Nativity at the Florida Boulevard Baptist Church in Baton Rouge brought back memories of one such scene years ago in Crowley.
My wife and I, recently married, were looking forward to our first Christmas as a married couple. We were living in a garage apartment on Fourth Street that backed up to a vacant lot next to First Methodist Church.
About this time of the year we were awakened around 5 a.m. by the sound of sheep "baa-ing" and a donkey braying.
We had no idea where the noises were coming from. When we looked out the window we saw that a live Nativity scene had been erected.
These sounds went on for about two weeks: baa-ing, braying and praying. Boy, were we glad when it was dismantled!
Dear Smiley: Stories of attending the wrong event reminded me of a Super Bowl party I attended several years ago in Alexandria.
The game had started when the husband of my boss at that time walked in the front door.
He saw me and my husband, got a beer and started watching the game.
After a little while he looked around and whispered to me, “Is this so-and-so’s house?”
He drank his beer and went in search of the party he was actually invited to down the street.
CINDY BLACK BOUCHIE
Dear Smiley: Your story of the 4-year-old saving sesame seeds to plant his own hamburger garden reminded me of a college friend (OK, "acquaintance" would better describe our relationship) who said she was going to get a pair of sturgeons so she could harvest their eggs for caviar.
Dear Smiley: Reading about Sunday afternoon drives in your column reminded me of Sunday afternoon "company." Every Sunday afternoon our family either received visitors or were the visitors.
What I remember most about these outings is that upon departure, everyone in the household walked the company to their vehicles, kissed them goodbye and stood waving as they drove off.
When husband Buddy and I visited our new daughter-in-law, Ann, for the first time and shared this departure routine, we told her this was a Cajun custom.
As a result, now when we visit, she and our son David, accompanied by our 3-year-old granddaughter Kenley, follow this routine. Kenley calls bidding her grandparents farewell "playing Cajun."
Dear Smiley: About your collection of grandparent and great-grandparent names:
I am "Pops" and Jackie is "Mops." We both have bicycles. Mine is the "Popcycle" and Jackie's is the "Mopcycle."
Dear Smiley: About appropriate names for jobs:
I wonder how many of your readers were amused as I was about the article on the Sewerage and Water Board being managed by a person with the name "Paul Rainwater."
IRVING D. GOLDSTEIN
Dear Irving: Good one. But my favorite is still the major league baseball player from Baton Rouge back in the day named Matt Batts.
A gift of memories
Dear Smiley: Every year I bought a Christmas tree ornament for each of my grandchildren, hoping it would help them to remember me. Last year was different.
With my permission, my daughter-in-law, Suzanne, took my wedding dress to a seamstress and had it cut and made into small drawstring bags. Then she had my wedding photo made into miniatures and put into small silver-tone frames. These went to my granddaughters.
In our one grandson's bag, I put my husband's red bandana sweatband, a monogramed handkerchief and his necktie with the naked lady on it.
I'm sure he'll remember his paw-paw.
Red lights are flashing
But not on a Christmas tree
Traffic jam brake lights