Vol. 7    No. 25
DECEMBER 13, 2012

The Capital City Hues
(608) 241-2000

Subscription Information:
The Capital City Hues
PO Box 259712
Madison, WI 53725
($45 a year)
Contact Number:
(608) 241-2000
Advertising: Claire G. Mendoza


Jonathan Gramling
Publisher & Editor

Clarita G. Mendoza
Sales Manager

Contributing Writers
Rita Adair, Ike Anyanike, Paul
Barrows, Alfonso Zepeda
Capistran, Theola Carter, Fabu,
Andrew Gramling, Lang Kenneth
Haynes, Rebecca Her, Heidi
Pascual,  & Martinez White
Reflections/Jonathan Gramling
                           Celebrate the Holidays!!
Seasons Greetings
100 Black Men of Madison Serves Up
Toys for Tots
The month of December, the month that has the day with the fewest daylight hours — which can be a
source of depression — is brightened by so many festivals that originated in so many different parts of the
world. There is the Hindu holiday of Pancha Ganapati, the Muslim Ashura, the Jewish festival of
Hanukkah, the Swedish St. Lucia Day, Mexico’s Los Posadas, the Christian Christmas and one of the most
“recent” additions, the African American celebration of Kwanzaa.

We can also add in some non-religious observances as well, such as the Winter Solstice, celebrated on
the shortest day of the year, December 21, which was observed world wide for time immortal. This coming
solstice is garnering particular interest this year because it marks the end of the Mayan calendar. I can
imagine that thousands upon thousands will be gathering at Mayan temples such as Chichen Itza in
Mexico to observe the passing of this moment. Some have feared that this will mark the end of the world. I
am personally waiting for archeologists to uncover the next Mayan calendar that was under development
until whatever caused the Mayan civilization to collapse happened. I trust this is not the last Hues that I
will produce and you will read.

My “boss” doesn’t give me a whole lot of time off during the Christmas Holiday as The Capital City Hues
will be published on December 27th or soon thereafter. And so, I have to make the best of those moments
that are left to me to celebrate. I get a little tearful watching Natalie Woods playing the little girl in Miracle
on 34th Street and I take joy in attending events put on by groups such as the Philippine American
organization PAMANA and the toy drive sponsored by 100 Black Men and the Community Service Awards
hosted by the Madison Metropolitan Chapter of The Links, Inc. There are people in this community who do a
lot of wonderful things in this community to make it cheery and bright in spite of the few daylight hours.
God bless them!

I joyfully remember back to my childhood and even those times when my son Andrew was very young
when we would all gather at my mom and dad’s on Christmas Eve to celebrate. At its height, we must
have had close to 40-50 people there opening presents, celebrating and playing the card game
Sheepshead until the wee hours of Christmas Day. And then it was off to more celebrating at the homes of
relatives on Christmas Day.

I thought those days would last forever and I didn’t give the wonderful times much thought. But things are
different now. My parents, Jim and Clare, have passed, God bless their souls. And while most of my
brothers and sisters still gather at my brother Tim’s house for Christmas Eve and pass presents out and
play cards, it is of course different. It is still, of course, a joyous time, but I do wish that I had appreciated
what my parents gave us while they were alive including the values that we live by. And it is this gift of
values that were embedded deep in our souls that turned out to be the lasting gift from our parents, a gift
that I hope I have, in turn, given to my son.

On Christmas Day, I will spend the morning with my brother Jim and his significant other Linda who
celebrate with a Christmas Brunch with members of Linda’s side of the family. Since my mom died, they
have graciously made my son and I welcome at their celebration. Then it will be off to Madison where just
about everything is closed. Last year, we were lucky to find a Chinese take-out restaurant open so we
could eat dinner. They were doing a very brisk business by the way.

And so the celebration of Christmas has changed for me over the years. It is important to hold those
celebrations with family close to your heart for they do not last forever and they can be one of the happiest
moments that you will ever remember.

And perhaps our notions of what constitutes family change with the Christmas season. It is more than the
nuclear and extended families that we grew up with. Christmas is about the embracing of the family of
humankind, if only for a short week or two at the end of the calendar year. It is about embracing each other
in our humanity for a moment in time before we slip back into the rat race of life, which demeans all of us.
It is those moments of kindness to strangers during a time of year that allows us to be compassionate for a
moment without reprisals while the “real world” stands still is what truly makes it the Christmas season.
And there is plenty of room for that to evolve beyond our dreams of Christmas Past.

I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and holiday season. Be kind to each other. That is the biggest
present of all.