What the Abilene Reporter News liked and disliked: Feliz Navidad!

During the holidays, we wish each other “Merry Christmas!” Sometimes, the greeting is “Feliz Navidad!” because we are a multicultural city. So let’s go with that this year, and celebrate these 12 letters of Christmas.

And for the record, Jose Feliciano once performed here, at ACU’s Moody Coliseum.


F is for freedom, which is defined differently by different people. Freedom to vaccinate, or not. Freedom of choice, from bodies to books to religious beliefs. Freedom to vote, or apparently not. Freedom of the press, which some believe is too liberal but we believe is becoming too restrictive. Thankfully, we have the freedom to debate freedom in this country.


E is for exit. Many folks would like to show 2022 the door, but we’ve felt that way before. In 2020… In 2021…


L is for libations. Whatever you want to sip, we have it in Abilene these days. Coffee, craft beer, coffee, bourbon, coffee and always something to wine about.


I is for igloo, which is what many of our homes and businesses became during the great storm of February 2021. It got down to 8 overnight Thursday, the coldest it has been since it went below zero that year.


Z is for zoo, which was in lights for Christmas. Not all animals were stirring, and some definitely were not quiet as a mouse.



N is nuclear research reactor, which is being built at the south end of the ACU campus. Reassurances have been made that there is little risk to the surrounding area. No one will turn green as the Grinch, we’re promised.


A is for air base. If ever Abilene got a nice present, it was in 1956, when a US Air Force installation opened, soon to be named for Lt. Col. William E Dyess. The relationship between the base and city is like an ongoing gif exchange – the city gives to Dyess, Dyess gives to the community.


V is for victory. They know all about victory this Christmas in Albany, Benjamin, Hawley and Westbrook. Which reminds us what happened to the Hawley flag that was flying atop the new hotel, then vanished?


I is for … you. In Abilene, despite all our economic challenges, we still find a way to help others with our donations of time, money and ideas. V could be for volunteers who make so much happen.


D is for downtown, which, we noticed this year, didn’t glow like it has during past holiday seasons. But otherwise, all is merry and bright.


A is for Aaron Watson, who delighted not one but two full houses at his Christmas concerts at the Paramount Theatre.


D, too, is for demolition. Downtown Abilene is like a youngster’s mouth. Two teeth are missing (Civic Plaza Hotel, Abilene Reporter-News) with one coming in (DoubleTree by Hilton). Folks will be smiling broadly when these empty spaces are filled in.


Bah humbug on Dislikes today!


  1. A Willie Christmas. We were delivering Meals on Wheels this week, listening to Willie Nelson’s “Hill Country Christmas” album with his sister Bobbie. When he sang “Deck the Halls,” we believed Willie, who will co-headline next year’s 12th Outlaws & Legends Music Festival, was owed his own holiday song.


“Fill the halls with songs by Willie

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la, la, la

‘Tis the season to eat chili

Fa la la la la la la la!

Don we now our red bandanna

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la, la, la

Strum the ancient Trigger, can ya?

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la, la, la

See the blazing joint before us

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la, la, la

Strike a match and pass one toward us

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la, la, la

Follow you in dreamy pleasure

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la, la, la

While we smoke an herbal treasure.

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la, la, la

Almost away your 89th passes

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la, la, la

Still taking names and kicking (hmm-hmm)

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la, la, la

Tie your beard now all together

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la, la, la

for the Back Porch come March weather.

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la, la, la

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