Our First and Most Memorable Christmas

We married in early September, and for our first Christmas, Lenette wanted to have a Christmas Party for her folks and my whole family. This was all to take place in our 900 sq ft home. Everyone was formally invited to what we hoped was the party of the year. Gifts were ready under a Christmas tree that almost filled the living room. Lenette cooked up a storm, including turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, cranberry, pies, and you name it. For us, and we hoped for all, it would be an event to be remembered. 

“Ma” called my sister and told her that she couldn’t go to the Christmas Party. My sister (Annette) understood our mom’s reluctance and pain but prevailed and convinced Ma she must do this for Lenette and me. Ma, who loves Lenette, came with all the family and had an absolutely wonderful time. Memorable, to say the least. Needless to say, our Christmas Party was a howling success. Nobody left until early the next day.

At about 6:am in the morning (same day), the phone rings, and it’s Ma. She tells Lenette that this was the best party she ever went to and “you know what? Jesus wasn’t there.” AND NOW THE REST OF THE STORY.

When Ma was a young girl in her village, the village was attacked by marauding Cossacks with the sole purpose of killing Jews and burning the village. She had 12 brothers (she slept on the stove). Nine of her brothers went out to defend the village, and five were killed. She remembers her mother going mad when her other sons told her. Are we able to understand the shock, the loss? Can we understand that “JESUS WAS’NT THERE” at our Christmas Party? 

Events do happen—And we live through most of them—Lessons are learned


Author: Sy Ogulnick

Sy Ogulnick received a BA from UCLA, Teacher’s Credential from Los Angeles Board of Education and completed phase I (Master’s portion) in a Doctor of Behavioral Science program at California Coast University. Sy leased and operated a summer day camp in LA. He and his wife then purchased virgin wilderness land in Northern CA, where they built and operated a coed summer camp. They moved to Las Vegas, NV, and purchased, built and operated a community children’s program for families staying in a major resort casino in Las Vegas. They have created programs for children nationwide that employed many people and in the process developed successful training programs for personnel. This led Sy to lecture on how to train staff and the creating of community within the workplace. Sy was then invited to speak at professional conferences on how best to hire and train employees, which led to his becoming a consultant in the art of improving relationships in a work environment and eventually to his epiphany that “Leaders are the primary problem and the answer to the personnel issues that arise in the workplace.” Sy has written numerous papers on the subject of interpersonal relationships, leadership and power. He has lectured throughout the United States, has been interviewed by the media and has appeared on many radio and TV talk shows

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