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Area Newspaper and Travel Guide for Reeves County, Ward County, Trans-Pecos, Big Bend of West Texas


Tuesday, December 23, 1997



By Peggy McCracken

Holy hologram:

virtual Christmas tree?

Junior grins from ear to ear as he gazes at a Christmas tree
complete with lights, candy canes and an angel on top. Mom
looks befuddled as she sticks her hand into the tree,
feeling not a thing. "See, you thought it was real!" Dad
gloats as a projector creates the 3-D virtual tree in their
living room. "I tell ya, hologram Christmas trees are the
way to go!"

And why not? After all, Christmas is not something you can
hold in your hand. It is a Spirit; a feeling; a celebration
of the invisible God who rules the universe.

The Spirit of Christmas does not dwell in trees nor in the
decorations on our houses and lawns. Not even in the
presents we exchange with family and friends.

Peace will not come on Christmas morning because we chose
just the right live tree, preserved its freshness with a
water-filled stand and covered it with tinsel.

I am having a hard time remembering Christmas trees from my
childhood. I do recall one that seemed to reach the ceiling.
And my last Christmas at home, (my 15th), we drove up into
the caprock breaks and picked out a near-perfect cedar tree
to decorate with paper chains, popcorn and a foil star.

What I do remember is Mama making me a new rag doll each
year until I was about 9. Then I got a mail-order doll that
could walk, a thrilling gift for a backward country girl. As
with any other gift, the anticipation was more fun than
playing with the doll. And the love with which it was chosen
and wrapped is what stayed with me through the years.

Even now, each sweater I wear, each piece of jewelry I
choose reminds me of the loved one who gave it to me at a
Christmas past. Even if the sweater is not exactly the right
fit or is a color I wouldn't have picked for myself, I feel
a warm glow because it came wrapped in love.

"God loved (you) so much He sent His only son that whoever
believes upon Him shall have everlasting life." John 3:16

EDITOR'S NOTE: Peggy McCracken is an Enterprise writer and
webmaster whose column appears each Tuesday.

Critic's Corner

Book explains side effects for cancer patients

If you are facing chemotherapy and/or radiation for cancer,
a registered nurse has just the prescription for you.

Marylin J. Dodd, RN, PhD, has written a guide for patients
and their families called "Managing the Side Effects of
Chemotherapy & Radiation Therapy."

Following a brief introduction, Dodd lists the possible side
effects, signs and symptons for each of 60 agents a patient
may receive in chemotherapy. Then she gives suggestions for
managing their side effects.
In part 2, Radiation Therapy, Dodd suggests ways to manage
radiation side effects.

Part 3 is a behaviors log and patient appointment worksheet.

Dodd said she got the idea for the book because more than 90
percent of cancer care is provided on an outpatient basis,
so patients and their families must learn to cope with the
effects of treatment at home.

The book suggests when to contact a physician or a nurse
about a particular symptom and includes useful nutritional
advice for patients.

To order a copy by mail, send a check for $26 per book to
USCF Nursing Press, 521 Parnassus Ave., Room N535C, San
Francisco, CA 94143-0608. To order by VISA or MasterCard,
call 415-476-4992. Also available through the Pecos
Enterprise online bookstore at

Peggy McCracken

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