Lillian Miller, this column's unpaid holiday poet, sent this in while I was on my Well-Deserved Vacation.

I know it's a little late, but I felt it could also apply to the present "holiday gift return" season:

  • Mattie Lee Jarrell, of Baton Rouge, celebrated her 101st birthday Dec. 25. She has been an usher at Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Norwood for 82 years.
  • Mary Maxwell, of Liberty, Mississippi, celebrated her 100th birthday Sunday, Dec. 30. She was an usher at Oak Grove Baptist Church in Liberty for 50 years.
  • Dorothy “Marie” Ponder, of Baton Rouge, celebrated her 100th birthday Monday, Dec. 31. She is a long-time resident of Baton Rouge, married to Judge Elven Ponder, but grew up in Lake Charles.
  • Lucy Hebert, of Plaquemine, celebrated her 96th birthday Friday, Dec. 28.
  • Therese Theriot, of Pierre Part, celebrated her 94th birthday Dec. 22.
  • Arthur Bellum Jr. celebrated his 92nd birthday Friday, Dec. 28.
  • Beverly Miller Couvillion, of Bunkie, celebrated her 91st birthday Dec. 20.
  • Justin Bozeman celebrated his 90th birthday Thursday, Dec. 27.
  • Betsy and Ben Alsip celebrated their 72nd anniversary Dec. 22.
  • Kenneth and Glenda Dunnaway Sullivan celebrated 61 years of marriage Dec. 20.
  • Louise Ann Baudin and John W. Kenney, of Lafayette, celebrated 65 years of marriage Dec. 27. 
  • Eddie and Pat Fagot celebrated their 52nd anniversary Dec. 22.
  • Emmett and Dodie Irwin celebrated their 52nd anniversary Dec. 22.

Downhill running

"Watching gifts being opened Christmas Day brought back memories of childhood," says Tony Falterman, of Napoleonville.

"We didn’t have a lot, but our parents made sure Santa Claus visited, with at least one gift under our cedar Christmas tree.

"My worst memory was when I received an electric football set. It had sat under the tree in our house, only warmed by a fireplace with lots of humidity.

"Since it was a cardboard field, it became badly warped! The players would go to about the 50-yard line, then turn around and go back to the end zone!"

Write Smiley at He can also be reached by mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821. Follow Smiley Anders on Twitter, @SmileyAndersAdv.