By Jerry Yeatts, F240000
FMCA Executive Director
It wouldn’t be the holidays without hearing the late Andy Williams sing his 1963 hit “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” I can still see the red jacket cover of The Andy Williams Christmas Album my family owned when I was growing up. We also would listen to Christmas albums by Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Dean Martin, and even Alvin and the Chipmunks. Favorite seasonal classic movies included Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty The Snowman, It’s A Wonderful Life, White Christmas, and Miracle On 34th Street.
Back then, our home was decorated with a real tree and real lights, not the neon LED lights we use today. We would place icicles on the tree, and they always seemed to remain around the house for weeks after the tree was gone. And snow? We would use spray snow and stencils to embellish the front windows of our home with the images of stars, Christmas trees, and Santa.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year with the kids jingle belling,
And everyone telling you “Be of good cheer.”
No matter how you may recognize or celebrate this time of year, I do hope you have memories of anticipation, the feeling that something special was about to happen. Perhaps your memories center around caroling with friends, family gatherings, cozy nights by the fire with loved ones, drinking eggnog, decorating cookies, or just a feeling of keeping secrets or hiding that special gift. Yes, there is something in the air at this time of year.
There’ll be much mistltoeing and hearts will be glowing when loved ones are near;
It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
A lump still forms in my throat when I listen to some of the traditional Christmas songs. “Silent Night” and “O Holy Night” bring back childhood memories of Christmas Eve candlelight services. The wall separating the parlor from the sanctuary in my childhood church would be raised on Christmas Eve to accommodate the overflow crowd. The congregation would receive candles upon entering the sanctuary and would raise and lower them in unison with the minister while singing “Silent Night.” As the song concluded, the candles were extinguished and families silently departed the church, and a feeling of peace prevailed.
“Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and days ofAuld Lang Syne!”
The words “Auld Lang Syne” translate from old Scottish dialect meaning “Old Long Ago,” and the song speaks about love and friendship in times past. The lyrics “We’ll take a Cup of Kindness yet” relate to a drink shared by men and women to symbolize friendship.
Someone in his 30s recently mentioned to me that FMCA seems like an “old” organization. When I asked what he meant by that statement, he spoke of younger members partaking in activities such as snowboarding, ATV riding, or pub crawling. He went on to mention that his parents are in their mid-50s and enjoy these types of activities. My response to him was that there are some very young people in their 50s, 60s, and 70s, and some very “old” people in their 30s!
My young(er) friend is correct that the current FMCA demographic is closer to the age of his parents. On the other hand, age doesn’t necessarily connote a lack of interest in activities. In fact, FMCA does have the 4-Wheelers chapter (whose members enjoy four-wheel-drive rallies), Swinging Golfers (members who love to play golf), Traveling VIP (volunteers for public parks), Bus ‘N’ Bikers (bus conversion and motorcycle enthusiasts), FMCA Chapter: Habitat for Humanity® (volunteers who help to build affordable housing), Friends of Angel Bus (folks who assist with transportation for medical treatment — mostly for children), as well as several chapters promoting tailgate parties for their favorite NCAA Division I college football team. The FMCA Chapter Services Department can help members to connect with chapters and activities that may be of interest or help them to form new chapters . . . including ATV riding and pub crawling!
Just as the words of “Auld Lang Syne” imply, FMCA members do cherish the special “times past” and the continuing friendships we have made along the way. We look forward to celebrating 50 years of fun and friendships in 2013.
Wishing you a season filled with joy!
Perfect Holiday Gifts:
NASCAR And Mario Andretti Driving Experience Packages
FMCA has teamed up with NASCAR Racing Experience and the Mario Andretti Racing Experience to offer members a fast-paced, adrenaline-rushing racing session at participating speedways across the country. Choose a Ride-Along Experience or actually sit behind the wheel of a real NASCAR or IndyCar and drive on the same tracks where your favorite drivers race . . . and YOU control the speed.
For more information, see the ad that appears on page 29 of the December 2012 issue; visit www.FMCA.com/race; or call the FMCA Member Services Department at (513) 474-3622 or (800) 543-3622.
FMCA Store Offers Apparel To Suit Your Motorhome Lifestyle
Give your motorhoming friends, or yourself, the gift of FMCA merchandise for the holidays. Order online at FMCAstore.com by December 14 and receive 10 percent off your entire order. Add the items to your shopping cart, enter the coupon code FMCA10 before your checkout, and your FMCA goodies will be on their way in no time! Orders placed by December 14 will be shipped in time for Christmas.
Give The Gift Of Membership For Year-Round Enjoyment
Do you know someone who owns a motorhome? Give the gift of membership in the premier association specifically tailored to motorhome owners. Not only will that special someone receive a year-long FMCA membership, including 12 issues of Family Motor Coaching magazine, and discounts on insurance, tires, roadside service, tours, and more, but you will also receive a special gift. Contact FMCA’s Member Services Department at (513) 474-3622 or (800) 543-3622 for details.
National Office Holiday Hours, Mail Forwarding Option
In observance of the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, the FMCA national office and the FMCA Mail Forwarding Service will be closed December 24, 25, and 31, 2012, as well as January 1, 2013.
FMCA’s Mail Forwarding Service now offers FedEx as an alternative to U.S. Postal Service delivery. For more information, please contact the Mail Forwarding Department at firstname.lastname@example.org; (513) 388-5315 or (800) 448-1212.
FMCA Family Cookbook
We need your help to create an FMCA family cookbook to commemorate the association’s 50th anniversary in 2013. We’ll be enlisting the help of a company that specializes in compiling cookbooks, but we need you to fill it with tasty recipes for everything from appetizers to desserts. Share your favorite recipes by using the instructions that appear on page 90 of this issue of the magazine. The deadline for submitting recipes is February 15, 2013. Recipes will be included as space permits. More details will be forthcoming, but copies of the book will be available online at FMCAstore.com and also at FMCA’s 88th Family Reunion in Gillette, Wyoming, June 19-22, 2013.