AgDay Daily Recap -December 25, 2017

December 25, 2017 02:57 AM
 
AgDay

TODAY ON AGDAY
DECEMBER 25, 2017

WHITE HOUSE CHRISTMAS

HELLO, AND WELCOME TO CHRISTMAS IN THE COUNTRY. I'M CLINTON GRIFFITHS.

AND I'M TYNE MORGAN. YOU'RE IN FOR A REAL TREAT OVER THE NEXT 30 MINUTES, HOPEFULLY HELPING YOU LUNGE INTO THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT... IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY DONE SO. THE WHITE HOUSE KICKED OFF THE HOLIDAY SEASON AT THE END OF  NOVEMBER, UNVELING THE FIRST FAMILY'S TWIST ON TRADITIONAL WHITE HOUSE  DECOR.  AND THE FINAL PRODUCT IS A SIGHT TO SEE-- FEATURING 53 CHRISTMAS TREES  THAT ARE SPORTING MORE THAN 12 THOUSAND ORNAMENTS, 3 THOSUAND PLUS  YARDS OF RIBBON AND 1 THOUSAND FEET OF GARLAND... NOT TO MENTION 71  WREATHS THAT ARE ON DISPLAY.  IN 2004, POPE JOHN PAUL CALLED THE CHRISTMAS TREE A SYMBOL OF CHRIST.  THAT'S AS MILLIONS OF AMERICANS SCOUT FOR THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS TREE  TO PLACE IN THEIR HOMES EVERY HOLIDAY SEASON.  OUR HOUSE WAS DECKED OUT IN CHRISTMAS THIS YEAR-- WITH SEVERAL TREES,  BUT NOWHERE NEAR THE 51 AT THE WHITE HOUSE.   IT'S A NATIONAL SEARCH TO FIND THE TREES FIT ENOUGH TO BE PLACED AT 1600 PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE.

SILENT NIGHT CHRISTMAS TREE FARM
I'LL TAKE YOU TO ENDEAVOR, WISCONSIN TO MEET THE GROWERS BEHIND SOME  OF THE CHRISTMAS TREES PLACED IN THE WHITE HOUSE THIS SEASON - AND  THESE OWNERS ARE NO STRANGERS TO MEETING THE PRESIDENTS AND THEIR  FAMILIES.  TAKE A TOUR OF SILENT NIGHT CHRISTMAS TREE FARM-- AND YOU'LL SEE ACRE  AFTER ACRE OF PERFECTLY PERT PINES--AND BOUGHS BEAUTIFULLY SHORN... MY FAVORITE WORD OUT HERE IS MAKE EVERYTHING SYMMETRICAL. THE SAME ALL THE WAY  AROUND..BUT...IT DOESN'T WORK."JIM AND DIANE CHAPMAN AND THEIR SON DAVID RUN THIS OPERATION...AND TO  SAY TO THEY CARE ABOUT QUALITY... "WHEN YOU'RE LOOKING AT A TREE YOU CONSTANTLY WANT CLIPPERS" WOULD BE PUTTING IT LIGHTLY... "LIKE ANY FARMER..YOU SEE FLAWS. YOU'RE TRYING FOR PERFECTION AND IT'S JUST NOT THERE." OBVIOUSLY HIS OWN WORST CRITIC--THE FAMILY HAS BEEN CAPABLY CRAFTING CHRISTMAS TREES FOR FOUR DECADES NOW. "WE ACTUALLY PLANTED OUR FIRST TREES IN 1977 I THINK THE FIRST YEAR THAT WE SOLD ANY TREES WHOLESALE WE SOLD 400 TREES." DIANE'S FATHER WAS ALREADY IN THE TREE BUSINESS, WHEN JIM CAME ON  BOARD. " WOULD ALWAYS SEE PEOPLE OUT WORKING ON THE TREES AND I WAS KIND OF NAIVE AND I THOUGHT IT HAD TO BE ONE OF THE EASIEST WAYS TO MAKE A LIVING IN THE WORLD.//  56:53 I DIDN'T REALIZE ALL OF THE WORK THAT WAS INVOLVED IN IT. WORK THAT'S PAYING OFF--THIS YEAR THEIR FARM WAS SELECTED TO SUPPLY  TREES TO THE WHITE HOUSE BY THE NATIONAL CHRISTMAS TREE ASSOCIATION. "WE'RE VERY PROUD OF THOSE ACCOMPLISHMENT BECAUSE ITS LIKE THE HIGHEST HONOR IN THE  CHRISTMAS TREE INDUSTRY. WE DON'T TAKE THAT FOR GRANTED THAT WE WERE CHOSEN BY OUR PEERS TO  HAVE THAT HONOR."THEY WANTED A 19.5 FOOT TREE BUT THERE ARE ONLY 18.5 CEILINGS I WONDER IF THEY DO LIKE ALL  HOMEOWNERS TIP IT UP AND PUT A MARK ON THE CEILING BUT THERE WASN'T ONE...I LOOKED. FROM THEIR FARM... THE TREE FOR THE OVAL OFFICE AND THE PERSONAL  RESIDENCE. BUT THIS ISN'T THE FAMILY'S FIRST TRIP TO MEET THE FIRST FAMILY. THEY'VE WON THE HONOR FOUR TIMES--STARTING WITH PRESIDENT REGAN. "WHEN HER DAD HAD WON THIS HONOR AND NANCY REGAN HOLDING YOUR LITTLE BABY TELLING YOU  HOW LUCKY YOU WERE...AND IT WAS TRUELY THAT WAY."TO PRESIDENT CLINTON, PRESIDENT GEORGE W BUSH. "SO WE DID INTERACT WITH THEM AND WE WERE GIVEN A TOUR OF A WHITE HOUSE BY LAURA BUSH THE  FIRST LADY AND WHEN PRESIDENT BUSH CAME TO MEET US WE SPENT TIME IN THE DIPLOMATIC  RECEPTION ROOM WITH JUST THE PRESIDENT AND OUR FAMILY.WHILE THEIR TREE SAT IN THE OVAL OFFICE.  "I WAS SO PROUD OF THAT ONE. IT WAS A TREE THAT WE GOT TO REALLY REALLY PICK OUT JUST WHAT  WE WANTED AND IT HAD PERFECT TEXTURE TO IT. AND IT LOOKED REALLY REALLY GREAT."ONE NEARLY PERFECT TREE IN 40 YEARS OF PRACTICE-- DECKING THE HALLS OF  AMERICA'S HOUSE -- THIS FAMILY IS DEDICATED TO GROWING CHRISTMAS CHEER  ONE BRANCH AT A TIME. "I LOVE CHRISTMAS. I THINK THAT'S ONE OF THE REASONS THAT WE'VE ENJOYED THE CHRISTMAS  TREE BUSINESS SO MUCH. //WE JUST LOVE GROWING CHRISTMAS TREES AND BEING A PART OF PEOPLE'S  CELEBRATION.""MY FAVORITE TREE RIGHT NOW IS THE ONE I HAVE IN MY HOUSE. I MAY BE COLOR BLIND BUT I CAN STILL SMELL A BALSOM."

COLONIAL WILLIAMSBURG
JUST "DOWN THE ROAD' FROM THE U-S CAPITOL IS  COLONIAL WILLIAMSBURG,  VIRGINIA. IT CELEBRATES THE RICH HISTORY OF AMERICA YEAR-ROUND, BUT AND AT  CHRISTMAS TIME, THE TOWN COMES TO LIFE.  JUST TAKE A STEP.. WALK THESE STREETS… AND YOU'LL FIND THE HISTORY  HARKEN.  " IT'S REALLY LIKE STEPPING BACK IN TIME." 8:30-8:39 BACK TO COLLONIAL DAYS… WHEE HISTORY IS REVERED YEAR ROUND HERE AT  COLONOIAL WILLISMBURG. SNUGGLED IN THE CENTER OF WILLIAMSBURG,  VIRIGIINIA, AT CHRISTMAS, IT BECOMES EVEN MORE ENCHANTING.  CHRISMTAS IS A MAGOICAL TIME HERE AT COLONIAL WILLIAMSBURG. YOUR TRANSPORTED BACK IN  TIME TO A SIMPLER ERA IF YOU WILL. IT'S TRADITIONS, IT'S CHIMNEY SMOKE, YOU EAT GINGER CAKES, YOU  SEE BEAUTIFUL WEATHES ON DOORS." 12:35 NEW JERSEY RESIDENT MARRY LARMONT RETURNED TO SEE THE MAGIC IN  PERSON, AFTER VISITING AS A LITTLE GIRL.  "IT'S MORE THAN I REMEMBERED."  THAT AWE FACTOR IS ON FULL DISPLAY DURING THE ANNUAL CHRISTMAS EVENT  "WHEN WE HAD GRAND ILLUMIATION HERE AND 40,000 PEOPLE HERE, TO CELEBRATE ALL AS ONE  FOR THE HOLIDAY AND TO SORT OF FEEL LIKE A KID AGAIN" 12:57 GRAND ILLUIATION IS A TRADITION COLONIAL WILLIAMSBRUG STARETED IN THE  1930S, WHEN THEY LIT ONLY FOUR BUILDINGS.  "AND THEN THAT TURNED INTO LET'S PUT CANDLES INT EH WINDORW OF EVERY BUIDING ON THE  STREET. THEN THE WREATHES STARTED HAPPENING WHERE PEOPLE CREATE THESE WONDERFUL WREATHS  OUT OF ALL NATURAL ELEMENTS. SO YOU HAVE OYSTER SHELLS ON THE ROLLEY TAVERN DOOR.THE  EVERGREENS, THE APPLES, THE ORANGES, AND THEY MAKE SOME BEAUTIFUL DECORATES" 13:58 IT'S THE DÉCOR THAT'S THE CENTERPIECE OF THE ANNUAL CELEBRATION..  I THINK IT'S THE BEAUTY OF CHRISMTAS AND THE 18TH CENTURY FEELING WE CAPTURE SO WELL  HERE."AND THE DÉCOR DRAWS IN PEOPLE FROM AROUDN THE GLOBE EACH YEAR.   "SO WHEN PEOPLE COME HERE, WE WANT THEM TO GO BACK IN TIME AND GO BACK TO THE  18TH CENTURY WHEN AMERICA'S ENDEARING STORY REALLY GOT STARTED WITH DEMOCRACY AND  CONVERSATIONS AND A LOT OF THE TOPICS WE STILL HAVE TODAY" WHILE MUCH SIMPLER THAN TODAY'S DECORTIONS, THE ISSUES ARE THE SAME.  "IT SEEMS SIMPLER TO US, BECAUSE YES THERE WAS NO ELECTIRICITY, THERE WERE NO SIRENS,  THEY HAD HORSES AND CARRIAGE, BUT THEY HAD AS MANY COMPLEX ISSUES AS WE DID. THEY WERE  TALKING ABOUT FAMILY AND FAMILIES FIGHTING, AND WHETHER TO SEPARATE FROM THE KING, RELIGION, SO  THE CONVERSATION WAS THE SAME WE'RE HAVING TODAY" HE SAYS FROM THE SMELLS TO THE TOUCH TO THE SIGHT, CHRISTMAS COMES TO  LIFE ALL AROUND YOU AT COLLONAIAL WILLIAMSBURG AS THE CANDLE IS KING.  "I LOVE WHEN IT GETS DARK HERE BECAUSE THER'ES SOOTHING MAGIAL ABOUT NOT HAVING ALL  NEON LIGHT. YOU SEE THE FLAMES AND AND YOU SMELL THE SMOKE, WEHTER IT'S HOLIDAY AND ADDS S  SPOOKIENESS, OR CHRISTMAS AND ADDS A MAGICAL GLOW, IT DOESN MATTER." WHERE THE HOLIDAYS MEET HISTORY DOWN EVERY STREETH, TRANSPORTING  HEARTS BACK TO  SOME OF AMERICA'S MOST ICONIC MOMENTS THAT ALSO  CELEBRATE THE RED, WHITE AND BLUE.  "I WANT THEM TO WALK AWAY WITH AN APPRECIATEION FOR MAERICA'S ENDEARING STORY. AND I  WANT THEM TO FEEL THEY ARE APART OF THAT STORY NO MATTER WHO THEY ARE IN THIS COUNTRY OR  THEY'RE JUST VISITING FROM ANOTHER COUNTRY. IT TOUCHES THEM IN SOME WAY AND MAKES THE  CELERBATEBEING AN AMERICA."A TASTE OF HISTORY WHILE EMBRACING A MAGICAL TIME OF YEAR, JOINING  TOGETHER  PEOPLE FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE… IN A SESON OF LOVE FROM ONE  GENERATION TO THE NEXT.  THANKS, TYNE. 

TEASE
WHEN WE COME BACK - WE HEAD TO DRAYTON, NORTH DAKOTA TO MEET 'RULDOLPH'S COUSINS' AND THE  OWNERS WHO HELP RAISE THEM EACH YEAR.  MORE OF OUR CHRISTMAS IN THE COUNTRY SPEICAL NEXT.

REINDEER RANCH
THE MOST FAMOUS REINDEER OF  ALL IS RUDOLPH AND HIS ICONIC RED NOSE.  BUT RULDOPH ISN'T THE ONLY ONE. THE REINDEER OWNERS AND BREEDERS  ASSOCIATION HAS OVER 90 MEMBERS IN THE UK, CANADA AND THE UNITED  TATES - WHO HELP RAISE REINDEER TOO. BETSY JIBBEN TAKES US TO REINDEER RANCH IN DRAYTON, NORTH DAKOTA - ONE OF TWO REINDEER FARMS IN THE STATE- FOR A CHANCE TO MEET  'RUDOLPH'S COUSINS' AND THE OWNERS WHO RAISE THEM.  THIS PEACEFUL PRAIRIE ISN'T QUITE THE ARCTIC  BUT SANTA CAN USE THE HELP THIS TIME OF YEAR PICKING ANOTHER COLD PLACE FOR HIS REINDEER AND THEIR CARETAKERS - IN  DRAYTON, NORTH DAKOTA.  "THAT'S OLAF, JOSAPHINE, ROBIN IS OVER THERE...""THESE ARE RUDOLPH'S COUSINS AND WE ARE JUST HERE TO TAKE CARE OF THEM," SOME MAY SAY VERN HAUS-EL-TON HOSELTON, HIS SON KYLE AND THEIR  FAMILIES ARE MAKE-SHIFT ELVES... AFTER TEN YEARS IN THE BUFFALO BUSINESS... "I DON'T HAVE THE LAND I NEED TO RAISE BUFFALO DECENTLY. THEY WERE TOO CONFINED IN HERE SO I  SOLD OUT,"THEY TURNED IT INTO A FULL-TIME REINDEER RANCH OVER THE LAST 20 YEARS. "ME: WHY REINDEER? PAUSES AND LAUGHS - WHY NOT?"AND THEY THIS JOB VERY SERIOUSLY FOR JOLLY OLD SAINT NICK FEEDING THE REINDEER A PELLET WITH SUGAR BEET PULP -  THE CLOSEST  THING THEY CAN GET TO LIKE-EN LICHEN WHICH IS WHAT CARIBOU EAT IN THE  ARCTIC.  THEY ALSO REALIZE REINDEER ARE INDEED MYSTICAL BOTH FOR MALE AND FEMALE REINDEER LOSE THEIR ANTLERS AND GROW THEM  BACK.  AND...  "A DROP OF MILK WOULD TURN BLACK COFFEE WHITE.  IT IS A VERY RICH MILK THAT THEY DO PRODUCE,"AS SANTA PULLS HIS SLEIGH FULL OF TOYS THROUGH THE SKIES THIS  CHRISTMAS - "I GUESS I'VE BASCICALLY SAID THEY'RE ALL IN PASTURE WHEN I GO TO BED ADN THEY'RE ALL IN HTE  PASTURE WHEN I GET UP IN THE MORNING. I DON'T EVER KNOW IF SOMEONE IS GONE,"MAYBE, JUST MAYBE HE'LL HAVE TO MAKE A LONGER STOP HERE. " WE'RE JUST HERE TO TAKE CARE OF THEM. IF SANTA NEEDS A REPLACEMENT THROUGH THE DEAL, HE'LL  STOP AND PICK ONE UP AND DROP ONE OFF WHEN HE'S DONE,"

YOU NEVER KNOW WHICH ONE OF THESE REINDEER FROM THE TRANQUIL  PRAIRIES OF NORTH DAKOTA MAY GET THE CALL THIS YEAR. I'M BETSY JIBBEN.  THANKS, BETSY.  THE FAMILY TRAVELS AROUND THE COUNTRY WITH THE REINDEER THROUGHOUT  THE HOLIDAYS.

TEASE
IF YOU'RE FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO HAVE A WHITE CHRISTMAS, AND SANTA'S  SLEIGH JUST SO HAPPENS TO BREAKDOWN THAT DAY, PERHAPS A SNOWMOBILE  WILL BE HIS GO-TO FOR TRANSPORTATION BUT SNOW MOBILES HAVEN'T ALWAYS LOOKED AS MODERN AS THEY DO TODAY.  MACHINERY PETE HAS A BLAST FROM THE PAST NEXT. 

MACHINERY PETE
"MACHINERY PETE IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY JOHN DEERE…WHERE CAN YOU FIND THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE INVENTORY OF JOHN DEERE CERTIFIED PRE-OWNED TRACTORS, COMBINES AND SPRAYERS?  MACHINE FINDER-DOT-COM … SOMETIMES THE BEST NEW ADDITION TO YOUR FLEET ISN'T NEW!" WHAT IF SANTA'S SLEIGH HAS A BROKEN CHASSIS OR THE REINDEER ARE UNDER  THE WEATHER? WELL, HE BETTER HAVE A BACKUP PLAN. MACHINERY PETE MAY HAVE FOUND  JUST THE RIDE. I GOT A NOTE RECENTLY ON OUR MACHINERY PETE FACEBOOK PAGE FROM MY OLD FRIEND KRIS KRINGLE UP AT THE NORTH POLE AND CHRIS SAID HEY PETE THE PETA FOLKS ARE COMING DOWN ON ME PRETTY HARD ABOUT OUR REINDEER AND THIS HEAVY SLEIGH WE'VE GOT A POLE AND I'M THINKING I MIGHT NEED A NEW MODE OF TRANSPORTATION. SO WONDERING IF YOU CAN HELP AND MAYBE GIVE ME SOME POINTERS ON PRICE. WELL I DID HAVE A FEW IDEAS FOR CHRIS. NOW THE FIRST THING I THOUGHT OF WAS THIS 1946 HARLEY U SNOW CYCLE AND YOU CAN SEE FROM THE TRACKS ON THIS THING YOU ARE GOING TO GET ANYWHERE YOU WANT TO GO. AND AS A BONUS I THINK MRS. CLAUS IS GOING TO THINK THIS THING'S PRETTY HOT. NOW THE DOWNSIDE IS IT COST TWENTY ONE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED BUCKS AND IT'S ALL LAST MONTH ON HER AUCTION IN IOWA. NOW ANOTHER COOL OPTION COULD BE THIS POLAR 450 VINTAGE SNOWMOBILE. NOW HOW PERFECT IS THAT ANIMAL POLAR FOR YOU CHRIS. WELL YOU LIKE THAT. NOW THIS THING SOLD FOR SEVENTY FIVE HUNDRED BUCKS. PRETTY RARE. AND ON THE SAME AUCTION ANOTHER VINTAGE SNOWMOBILE THIS ARCTIC CAT KITTEN WHICH THEY ONLY MADE A FEW OF SOLD FOR 38 HUNDRED BUCKS OFF MRS. CLAUS WANTS COME ALONG HELPED DELIVER THE TOYS. THOSE TWO SLEDS WILL SET YOU BACK OVER 11K NOW I KNOW BUDGET CAN BE AN ISSUE AROUND THE HOLIDAYS. SO I GOT ONE MORE OPTIONS KIND OF A NUCLEAR OPTION. THIS THING NEEDS A LITTLE TLC. IT'S A BOMBARDIER SW48 SNOWMACHINE WILL ROUGH AROUND THE EDGES. A BUDDY OF MINE IN IOWA BOUGHT IT LAST YEAR FOR 500 BUCKS. I THINK HE'D SELL IT TO YOU. BUT NO NO HEATED SEATS IN THE CAB. BUT YOU KNOW YOU'RE FROM THE SOUTH OR THE NORTH POLE. KRIS SO I THINK YOU'LL BE OK. SO I HOPE THAT HELPS OUT. I KNOW YOU'LL MAKE THE RIGHT DECISION. SEND ME A PICTURE. HIT ME UP ON FACEBOOK AND TELL THOSE KIDS WHEN YOU'RE DELIVERING THE TOYS THAT MACHINERY PETE SAYS HI AND MERRY CHRISTMAS.

TEASE
THEY SAY A DOG IS A MAN'S BEST FRIEND... AND IT'S THOSE FRIENDS FOLKS IN TENNESSEE AREN'T FORGETTING THIS  CHRISTMAS SEASON. WE'LL TAKE A TRIP TO THE VOLUNTEER STATE NEXT.  

ANIMAL HOLIDAY CHEER
WE CAN KEEP HOLIDAY MEMORIES ALIVE FOR YEARS WITH PHOTOS. THAT'S GOES FOR PEOPLE AND THEIR PETS. UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE'S CHARLES DENNEY SNAPS A SHOT OF CARING  HOLIDAY CHEER.  HOLIDAY HAPPINESS. THE SEASON IS GOING TO THE DOGS. SOMEONE IS EITHER REALLY EXCITED ABOUT SANTA'S PENDING VISIT – OR HAVING THEIR PICTURE MADE. THE UT COLLEGE OF VETERINARY MEDICINE DOUBLES AS A PHOTOGRAPH'S STUDIO THIS DAY – FOLKS  HAVING THEIR PHOTOS TAKEN WITH THEIR ANIMALS DECKED OUT IN CHRISTMAS CHEER. THE SHOOTS WERE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC AND STAFF AND STUDENTS. BRETTE RATLIFF IS A SECOND-YEAR VET STUDENT WHO BROUGHT ALONG HER HUMAN FRIEND, AS WELL AS  DOG STRIDER AND HIS PAL HARPER. (BRETTE RATLIFF) "ONE OF OUR PROFESSORS FROM FIRST YEAR BROUGHT HIS DOG AND THEY HAD SANTA  HATS, AND IT JUST LOOKED LIKE A LOT OF FUN. SO I ROPED MY FRIEND INTO DOING IT, SO WE'RE HERE TO  SUPPORT A GOOD CAUSE BUT ALSO TAKE SOME FUN PICTURES." "EACH PET OWNER PAYS $30 FOR A SESSION, AND GETS A GOOGLE FILE OF PHOTOS THEY CAN PRINT,  SAVE AND SPREAD ON SOCIAL MEDIA. THE MONEY RAISED GOES TO CAIT – COMPANION ANIMAL  INITIATIVE OF TENNESSEE." "THE HOLIDAY CARDS ARE ALWAYS FUN BECAUSE THE BLOOPERS ARE JUST AS FUN AS THE FANCY  PHOTOS." JAIME NORRIS IS THE COORDINATOR OF THE CAIT PROGRAM, AND HELPS TO ORGANIZE THE PHOTO  SHOOTS. THEY'VE ALSO DONE PETS AND THEIR HUMANS IN HALLOWEEN COSTUMES. BUT IT'S THE CHRISTMAS STUFF THAT'S REALLY POPULAR. (JAIME NORRIS)  "IT'S A LOT OF FUN BECAUSE I LOVE FUR BABIES AND IT IS FUN TO PUT THEIR PARENTS IN TACKY SWEATERS AND TACKY SWEATERS ON THE PETS TOO." ON A MORE SERIOUS NOTE, SOME MONEY RAISED ON THESE PHOTO SHOOTS GOES TO HELP PETS OF THE  HOMELESS. JUST BECAUSE YOU DON'T HAVE A HOME, THAT DOESN'T MEAN YOU CAN'T CARE FOR AN ANIMAL. "VETERINARIANS COME AND HELP OUR HOMELESS POPULATION AND OUR WORKING POOR. SO ONCE A  MONTH WE GO AND HELP THE PETS GET VACCINES, FOOD, LEASHES, COLLARS, THINGS THAT THEY NEED TO  KEEP THE PETS FROM GOING INTO THE SHELTER. SO WE PROVIDE THAT, AND OUR VET STUDENTS GET  HANDS ON EXPERIENCE." SO PICTURE THIS – MANY OF US ADORE OUR PETS AND THEY LOVE US RIGHT BACK. AND WHEN YOU CAN CAPTURE THAT WITH A CAMERA, IT'S A GREAT WAY TO CELEBRATE THE SEASON AND  HELP OTHERS. THIS IS CHARLES DENNEY REPORTING. THANKS, CHARLES. 

TEASE
STILL TO COME, WE'LL PUT A BOW ON THIS CHRISTIMAS IN THE COUNTRY  SPECIAL, WITH A HOLIDAY MESSAGE FROM JOHN PHIPPS. 

JOHN PHIPPS
FOR MORE THAN A DECADE, JOHN PHIPPS HAS JOINED US FOR OUR ANNUAL  CHRISTMAS IN THE COUNTRY SPECIAL.  HE WRAPS UP OUR PROGRAM, BUT THAT TASK IS GETTING MORE DIFFICULT EACH  YEAR.  IT'S BEEN TEN YEARS SINCE MY TIME AS A CHOIR DIRECTOR ENDED. THOSE PREVIOUS THREE DECADES  PROVIDED ME WITH SOME OF MY MOST CHERISHED MEMORIES. I STILL HAVE A FEW PRECIOUS  PERFORMANCE RECORDINGS THAT TRIGGER MUSICAL AND PERSONAL MEMORIES. ESPECIALLY AT  CHRISTMAS. AND I'VE KEPT AN EMBARRASSINGLY LARGE STACK OF OLD MUSIC SO I CAN SING ALONG TO  THOSE RECORDINGS. FOR CHOIRS, CHRISTMAS WAS THE BIG EVENT, WITH EASTER A CLOSE SECOND. BEGINNING WITH ADVENT,  CONGREGATIONS EXPECTED SOMETHING FROM THE CHOIR TO MATCH THE CHURCH DECORATIONS. FOR ME,  PLANNING THE SEASON WAS A TASK I TRIED TO GRUMBLE ABOUT, BUT FRANKLY I ENJOYED IT TOO MUCH. I  ALWAYS FELT SORRY FOR THE PASTOR, SITTING DOWN AT HIS OR HER DESK IN NOVEMBER OR MAYBE  DECEMBER 23RD FRANTICALLY TRYING TO FIND A NEW INSIGHT OR LESSON FOR THE SERMON ON CHRISTMAS  EVE. MY JOB WAS MUCH EASIER. BEGINNING IN AUGUST, MUSIC PUBLISHERS FLOODED MY MAILBOX  WITH NEW, UNIQUE COMPOSITIONS AND ARRANGEMENTS. ALL I HAD TO DO WAS FIND SOME THAT  MATCHED OUR TALENTS. JAN AND I ALSO HOSTED AN ANNUAL CHRISTMAS CHOIR PARTY. BY HOSTING, I  MEAN JAN PLANNED AND COOKED AND WORKED OVERTIME AND I ENJOYED MYSELF WITH OUR GUESTS. THESE DAYS I'M GETTING SOME SENSE WHAT OUR PASTORS WENT THROUGH. WHEN MY PRODUCER  ASKED ABOUT MY CHRISTMAS COMMENTARY, I LOOKED AT A BLANK DOCUMENT ON-SCREEN FOR A FEW  HOURS, CHECKED BACK TO SEE WHAT I SAID IN PREVIOUS YEARS, AND HOPED FOR INSPIRATION. BUT JUST AS I HAVE GOTTEN IN THE ENJOYABLE HABIT OF PLAYING CHOIR HITS FROM DAYS OF YORE,  MAYBE A LITTE OF THE SAME OL', SAME OL, WOULDN'T BE A BAD THING FOR THIS YEAR'S COMMENTARY.  WE GET PLENTY OF SURPRISES AND EXCITEMENT THESE DAYS, AND THIS CHRISTMAS MIGHT BE A GREAT  TIME TO GIVE AN OLD, UNIMPROVED YULE SEASON ANOTHER CHANCE. SO FROM ALL OF US, MERRY  CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR. AND PEACE TO ALL ON EARTH.

CLOSE
THANK YOU, JOHN. THIS CHRISTMAS, WE HOPE EACH OF YOU PAUSE, TAKING IN  THE HOLIDAY SPIRIT, AND REMEMBER THE REASON FOR THE SEASON. WE HOPE YOUR HOLIDAY IS FILLED WITH JOY, REFLECTING ON THE COUNTLESS  BLESSINGS OF ANOTHER YEAR.  THANK YOU FOR WELCOMING US INTO YOUR HOME EVERY MORNING AND EACH  WEEKEND.. IT'S BEEN AN HONOR.  AND AS WE HEAD INTO 2018, WE WISH YOU A  PROSPEROUS AND A HEALTHY NEW YEAR.  AGDAY - BROUGHT TO YOU BY RAM COMMERCIAL - AMERICA'S LONGEST-LASTING HEAVY DUTY PICKUPS.

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