’Twas the night before Christmas and I’m in my chairwith eyes at half-mast and the TV on blare. When what to my sleepy old eyes do I see,but a lot of old stuff that happened to me. Those quiet, cold nights when we tiptoed aroundhiding the presents with barely a sound. The kids would awake in the morning with joyhoping to find a spanking new toy! Maybe Dad made it, or even Grandfather while Mom set the large table and called it “no bother.” We didn’t have money to foolishly spend and nobody beat on a really good friend. The tree was a beauty, although it was bent,but nobody squawked ’cause it cost not a cent! So let’s welcome Santa up there on the roofwith a short little snort of some good 80 proof. I give up.But not before I tell you the most meaningful words I’ve heard this year are, “We had nothing, but we had everything,” and we did. We had parents to beg from, siblings to “steal” from, and best friends to cry with. As Christmas 2013 draws near, we extend greetings and a hand in friendship to friends and acquaintances.To those of you who celebrate the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ, with us, we say merry Christmas! Gloria Russell has lived in the Westerly-Pawcatuck area all her life and has been a reporter for 45 years. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.