THE EVENING EDITION By Mike Huckabee
Good evening! Here are some stories from me that I think you will want to read.
DAILY BIBLE VERSE
16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.
1 John 4:16 NIV
To recommend a verse for the Evening Edition, email [email protected]
Back in 2011, inspired by my book “A Simple Christmas,” I asked listeners of my radio show “The Huckabee Report” to share their own favorite family Christmas memories. Some are heartwarming, and some are hilarious, but all of them are inspiring and wonderful.
1. Money does not make you happy, love does:
You’ve heard the term, a “hard candy Christmas”? Well, Kathy from Kentucky recalled a Christmas when hard candy would’ve seemed like a luxury. And “not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse” was more than could be hoped for. But somehow, it can end up as a happy memory if you can just keep your sense of humor:
“To start with, it was a Christmas I will never forget. I had married at age fourteen, partly to escape the hand of life I was dealt, with parents neither of (whom) seemed to want me or my siblings. We were shuffled from here to there, staying with family or staying alone many nights by ourselves by the time I was 11 years old.
I had married so young trying to escape and have some kind of normal family. At least that’s what I felt at the time. I was much more mature at age 14 than most 25-year-olds today. It was our second Christmas together and we didn't have very much money, but I was 16 by this time and was expecting our first of four children I would eventually have. I so much wanted to have a Christmas tree and decorate it.
Well, with my meager budget, I felt the old fashioned way might be my best bet. My tree had a few hand-me-down ornaments that were scratched and tattered. I also managed to buy a pack of the old fashioned icicles that looked like shredded aluminum foil shavings. In 1973, we didn't have all the new shimmering decorations.
I also took a bag of cranberries and some popcorn and strung it to make a stream of garland. I thought our little hand-cut cedar tree was beautiful. It had taken me all day to string the cranberries and popcorn. I strung them around the tree trying to cut corners so they would cover more area. Finally, the tree was decorated.
That night, I went to bed with a few little presents and a beautiful tree. At the time, we lived in an old house we rented, and there were cracks big enough that you could throw a cat through around the windows. I was used to cold houses and not-so-fine furnishings. At 16, I was doing pretty good, I thought. I just couldn't wait to show my Christmas tree and what a fine job I had done.
I woke up the next morning and walked into our simple little living room to see my tree. My heart sank, I just couldn't believe it. The mice had eaten all my popcorn and several of the cranberries! I was devastated, but after the shock wore off, my husband and I just laughed and laughed.
Even after that, I still put popcorn strings on our tree. Later, my four kids would help. The happiest Christmases I remember were ones when we had very little materially but had generosity in our hearts.
I have since gone to college with those four kids and am now a retired teacher. The one thing I always tried to teach my kids as well as my students is that it's not how much money you spend, it is about how much love and generosity is in your heart. Money does not make you happy, love does.”
2. Anything can become a cherished memory:
Beth from Texas offered a story whose moral is that anything can become a cherished memory if it’s associated with the joy of Christmas, and I do mean ANYTHING!...
“For many years, my sister (who teaches Kindergarten) and I would deliver any gifts from the Angel tree at K-Mart that had not been picked up by Christmas Eve. Many of the names were ones familiar to my sister, and we loaded up the car and put on our Santa hats and went delivering in everything from snow to rain...this to us was the true meaning of Christmas.
One place we would always stop about half-way through our deliveries was the Beasley Memorial Funeral Home - it had a drive-up viewing window in front!
The first Christmas after K-Mart closed, my sister and I were both at loose ends on Christmas Eve. I drove us over to sit in the driveway of the funeral home so it felt more like Christmas Eve. Happy to say some of our best Christmas Eves were spent sitting in that driveway! Merry Christmas to you!”
3. A small gesture can grow into a cherished tradition:
Angie from Wyoming shared a wonderful story of how a small gesture can grow over time into a cherished family Christmas tradition:
“My mother began a Christmas tradition over 60 years ago when she was a young mother. At times I think she wishes she would not have started it, but there is no stopping it.
Years ago, she found a pattern in what she believes was Better Homes and Gardens magazine for knitted Christmas stockings. She had three small children at the time and knitted each one a stocking which was personalized with their names knit into the pattern...the tradition began.
Not only has she hand-knitted Christmas stockings for several of her friends’ children as well as nieces and nephews, she has knitted stockings for all of her eight children and their spouses, 24 grandchildren and their spouses, and over 30 great-grandchildren. The Christmas stockings are such a big deal, I had to change the spelling of my oldest daughter’s name so it would fit within the parameters of the stocking pattern.
Each stocking takes weeks to complete and as the years have gone by, they are getting larger as her crippled hands knit more loosely than when she knitted her very first one. To date, the last stocking was finished days ago for my granddaughter…Someday as she grows older, hopefully she will cherish the hands and heart that created such a masterpiece.
I am grateful for my mother's selfless determination to carry on this tradition and know it hasn't been easy. I love her so much for that and am convinced I am going to have to learn to knit, not because my future grandchildren need matching stockings, but because I want her legacy of love to continue.”
PS - Angie sent me this story in 2011, so I assume she’s learned to knit by now!
4. 2021 HUCKABEE NEWSLETTER HOLIDAY ENTERTAINMENT GUIDE
I’ve never been a fan of political boycotts of entertainment products, which can hurt workers who have nothing to do with the woke views that studio executives or stars spew. But I understand why many conservatives might not want to give their entertainment dollars to people who call them racists and want to put them in reeducation camps.
Still, we all need some entertainment to take our minds off of politics for a while, and to give to like-minded folks on our gift lists.
That’s why, last year, we created a list of entertainment gift options created by people who deserve your support (the original 2020 gift guide is here, and there are many albums, movies, comedy DVDs, downloads and more in it that are still great options for this Christmas).
MAJOR MUSIC STARS WHO BUCKED THE NARRATIVE IN 2021
Rock stars used to brag about being rebels. Now, many are so terrified of being canceled that they don’t dare criticize the Democrat-“led” government or cower before Twitter trolls. Even the “bad boys of rock,” the Rolling Stones, took their classic song “Brown Sugar” out of their set list for fear it might offend somebody. This fear has even infected country music, where there are far more conservative performers. Fortunately, there are a few big names who refuse to be intimidated and still denounce oppression, even when it comes from the left…
Eric Clapton – Old Slowhand ran afoul of the woke brigades when he recorded an anti-lockdown song by Van Morrison, and the attacks intensified after he dared to talk about his near-fatal reaction to the COVID vaccine. Twitter trolls dug up ancient racist comments he made when he was in the depths of drug addiction for which he long ago apologized. He was even attacked as a racist over a lyric about government tyranny that used the word “slave,” as if only black people were ever slaves. They’re trying hard to “cancel” him, but with his massive legacy of great music, they’re like Lilliputians trying to tie down Gulliver with dental floss.
His latest is a stunning new DVD/CD of more unplugged versions of his earlier rock classics called “The Lady in the Balcony: Lockdown Sessions.” The CD is at Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09B48SHTK. Here’s a must-see video clip of “After Midnight”: https://youtu.be/MkrA-gSG-vE.
Jason Aldean – The country star is an unapologetic conservative patriot who stood up to threats of being “canceled” and defended his wife after photos circulated of her and their kids wearing anti-Biden shirts. He’s also spoken up for other conservatives in country music who are afraid of expressing their real views. His music is available (at last check!) at all major retailers, and this page has his latest CD and all his other merchandise: https://store.jasonaldean.com/collections/all-products
Kid Rock – The rocker/rapper just released a song called “Don’t Tell Me How To Live” that makes his feelings on government nannies and meddlesome ninnies crystal clear. Here’s a story about it with a link to the song and lyric quotes, but WARNING! He does not censor himself! https://redstate.com/mike_miller/2021/11/20/kid-rocks-new-song-dont-tell-me-how-to-live-might-be-full-of-profanity-but-man-the-patriotism-n479304
Pitbull – The Latin hip-hop superstar is a first-generation Cuban-American who is outspoken in his disdain for communism and love for America. He recently told a concert crowd that if you don’t like the USA, “God bless you, but (BLEEP!) you” and “go back to the countries we (BLEEP!) came from, and you’ll see how much you appreciate the United States of America.” He’s released many hit albums, and you can find them at https://pitbullmusic.com.
Van Morrison – Rock used to be about “rebelling against the Establishment, man,” but lately, it’s been about reinforcing compliance with the Establishment. But Van is still a rebel, and he brought on the wrath of the cancel culture mobs and liberal rock critics by daring to write songs protesting music-killing lockdowns (that raised money for unemployed musicians) and media manipulation of the public. Many classic albums are available, but his newest is “Latest Record Project, Vol. 1.” As with most non-PC entertainment, cowardly critics savaged it while the public loved it. His website is www.vanmorrison.com and his new album is available here: https://vanmorrison.shop.musictoday.com/
None of the artists above have appeared on “Huckabee” (they’re welcome anytime, although Kid Rock and Pitbull might have to watch their vocabularies.) But all the following artists did. Relive some great music moments, and then order some music and support them!
2021 “HUCKABEE” COMEDIANS
Of course, the most renowned fighter against cancel culture in comedy in 2021 was Dave Chappelle with his Netflix special, “The Closer.” While I admire his comic genius and his bravery, I’m afraid his language and subject matter are too raw for most of my audience. But he definitely deserves praise for fighting for free speech.
Fortunately, there are a lot of great comics who work clean and many have appeared on “Huckabee.” Here are the ones who have CDs, DVDs or books for sale. The YouTube clips will refresh your memories and also provide a lot of hilarious samples.
Also, remember to check last year’s edition of the gift guide for many more great comics and musical performers…
Brad Stine: The man known as “God’s Comic” even made us laugh at the coronavirus: https://youtu.be/EF3z1FdKwb8. You can buy or rent his streaming special “Unapologetic” at his website: https://www.bradstine.com
Chonda Pierce: One of my favorite people and one of the funniest in the world, Chonda can also make COVID funny: https://youtu.be/x_hK-7WXFWQ. She has many best-selling stand-up DVDs, books, documentaries and other goodies at her website: https://shop.chonda.org.
Jeremy Nunes: Remember the great comic storyteller who somehow got elected mayor of his small town? https://youtu.be/RTZ31ynpviU. You can find his DVDs, CD and his book “You Can’t Write City Hall” here: https://www.jeremynunes.com/Store
John Branyan – A very funny comic known for his Shakespearean retelling of “The Three Little Pigs,” he taught us the blessing of stupidity: https://youtu.be/Z83UHzc6FOg. His DVDs and books, including his “Three Little Pigs” book, “A Triune Tale of Diminutive Swine,” are here: https://johnbranyan.com/the-store/#!/.
John C. Morgan: Our audience was startled when Donald Trump suddenly turned into George W. Bush, but they were both this amazing impressionist: https://youtu.be/2ayIIJr6Isc. He doesn’t have a comedy album or DVD, but you can get his inspiring book “War On Fear” at https://johncmorgan.com.
Keith Alberstadt: A very clever comic who got some of the biggest laughs ever on our show: https://youtu.be/65wOWDT6DH8. He has several albums available for download on iTunes: http://keithcomedy.com/store.
Kristen Weber: The delightful musician/comic gave us a whole new use for pants: https://youtu.be/xmkAw567zbA. She has several books out that combine humor and faith, including her latest, “Adulting For Jesus: A Book About Purpose, Trusting God, and (Obviously) Burritos:” https://www.kristinweberonline.com.
Rik Roberts: A show favorite who started as our warm-up comic, bossing around our audience as “Barney Fife.” That uncanny impression landed him his first starring movie role in “Mayberry Man” (see movies below.) He’s also known for his comedy songs. Here’s a recent appearance: https://youtu.be/FTiQKNn33-0. His CDs and more are at www.RikRoberts.com.
Taylor Mason: This hilarious comedian/ventriloquist has visited the show twice: https://youtu.be/NgtbhHYkCEI. You can find his DVD, his book and his cute ventriloquist puppets Vinnie the Guinea Pig and Zero the Penguin for your kids, all at https://www.taylormason.com/.
William Lee Martin: The hilarious cowboy storyteller also started the Cowboys Who Care Foundation to provide support and cowboy hats to kids living with cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Here he is on “Huckabee”: https://youtu.be/G98OVQ3xhAg. His latest two DVDs are here: https://www.williamleemartin.com/shop.
5. Prayer Tree:
We are stronger together. Submit your prayer request for HEALTH & HEALING or IN MEMORIAM by visiting my website here.
Our hope is that our newsletter readers and social media followers will consider these prayer requests each day.
HEALTH AND HEALING
"I had major back surgery in September 2021. I’m having some issues with recovery. I’ll appreciate prayer for complete healing so I can return to work after being off all this time. Thank you. Linda H."
"Please pray for our adult son Dan who is experiencing a very tough time dealing with his severe OCD."
"Prayer to be healed of Parkinson’s Disease & Arthritis. Thank you Jesus for loving us so much!!♥"
"My wife Gayle is trying to get on the transplant list for double lung surgery please pray for her and our family we have set up a go fund me to help with housing and food while we are gone from our home for three months God is our strength above all things thank you for your prayers Bubba Skipper"
6. Hymnal: O Holy Night
Today's Christmas song is recommended by many, many, many readers.
O Holy night! The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Savior's birth
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
'Til He appears and the soul felt its worth
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn
Fall on your knees; O hear the Angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born
O night, O Holy night, O night divine!
Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming
Here come the Wise Men from Orient land
The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger
In all our trials born to be our friend
He knows our need, to our weakness is no stranger
Behold your King; before Him lowly bend
Behold your King; before Him lowly bend
Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His Gospel is Peace
Chains shall He break, for the slave is our brother
And in His name, all oppression shall cease
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we
Let all within us Praise His Holy name
Christ is the Lord; O praise His name forever!
His power and glory evermore proclaim
His power and glory evermore proclaim
If you have a favorite Christmas carol/hymn you want to see in our newsletter, please email [email protected]
7. I Just Wanted To Say:
Thank you for reading.