“Christ, Mas, it’s CHRISTMAS!” said my Significant Other and Adult Supervisor. “Get a little holiday spirit goin’, here!”

Duly noted.

Got my holiday shopping done, and got some presents dropped off already. Noticed that some folks might have more expensive Christmas wish lists than others. Seems that San Diego PD is thinking about head-mounted cameras, kind of like patrol car dash-cams, to be worn on the head of each officer. The Bluetooth-size unit supposedly will be held on with a headband, and when the test run is completed next year, if the city wants them for the whole force they’ll give Santa a $4 million Christmas list.

Many in the criminal justice system had feared that the economy would lead to a rise in crime for the Christmas season, and there are certainly signs. In the Denver area, more than a dozen banks were robbed just last week, four of them on Friday.

In a Borders bookstore in Louisville, a bold panhandler was hustling the customers in the aisles. Outside, another one dressed like a rapper from Hollywood central casting was aggressively panhandling folks on the chilly sidewalk. I kept my hands in my pockets but wished him a Merry Christmas. He replied – swear to God – “Humbug.”  A few moments later, I watched him step into a new sedan and drive away.

I’m channeling the Christmases of my childhood, and the ones of my children’s childhood. (Don’t we all?) Another who is doing so is my friend Jim Fleming, a brilliant criminal defense lawyer in the Midwest. His reminiscence reads like Ralphie’s in Jean Shepherd’s perennial classic, “A Christmas Story,” only better. It’s shared with you HERE with his permission.

Enjoy, and feel free to share Christmas memories here.



  1. Ah, Christmas, I remember when I got an American Flyer train set. My dad and uncles took it to my room and set it up. I didn’t get to play with it ’til the next day but they sure had fun.

  2. merry christmas to Mas and all the reader’s and contributers of backwoods home. i wish you all health and happiness for the coming year. may there be a turkey (or ham) in every oven and 100 rounds of premium ammo in everyone’s stocking.

  3. $4 million per YEAR?!? Plus how much for servers to archive all that video? Wow! That’s ridiculous!

    Our panhandlers still dress shabbily and stand on busy street corners with a hat or a small cardboard sign. They still get into nice sedans to go home, but they dress worse.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours, Mas. Perhaps even pass a thanks on to Jim for his wonderful memories.

  4. Merry Christmas to you Mas. Thanks for all that you do to support the shooting sports. I’ve enjoyed reading “Concealed Carry” and find myself referring back to it now and then.

    I have vivid memories of youthful Xmas’s when 22LR cost 50 cents a box and we would all go out to the woods for a plinking session. Funny, I don’t ever remember a misfire. Today the only thing that seems to work flawlessly for me are Mini Mags. I stopped at the local gun site store yesterday and found the usual group of good spirited shooters gathered and doing more talking in the store than shooting on the range. I tried to buy some ammo Christmas gifts for my Grandsons. I managed to get some 9mm and Mini Mags okay but struggled to find 380 ACP. Thank God I live in Florida where guns haven’t turned into a dirty word yet. Merry Christmas to all who support the legal use of firearms.

  5. One of my favorite Christmas memories was when I was 12 years old – that’s 35 years ago. Pappy (that what we called grandpa) gave me a brand new Marlin Model 60 and a brick of .22s. Up until then, I had always shot my dad’s or Pappy’s guns, now I had my very own.

    After Christmas brunch that year, Pappy and I went out behind the barn and down to the pasture. He set up some tin cans, told me, “know what your shootin at and what’s behind it”, and we shot holes in those cans until they looked like shredded aluminum foil.

    Now I’ll be honest here, we didn’t have eye and ear protection on back them, but I strictly use and enforce that now with my 4H kids, CCW/NRA students and myself. I hope some of the safety lessons and experiences our 4H Shooting Sports kids have ow will be looked upon as years go by like I remember Pappy and that experience.

    I still have that Marlin Model 60 in the gun safe, shoot it every once in a while. I’m not exaggerating to say that it’s held up well through at least 20,000 or 30,000 rounds or more.

  6. Saturday afternoon I handed a local pan-handler a loaf of bread. He seemed quite disappointed. It was all I had. Maybe I should of waited to include some peanut butter.

  7. Woops, me bad…spelling corrected here Mas

    Merry Christmas Mas to you and your loved ones.

    I always pray for peace and tranquility in the world around this time but dang if the rest of the world just ignores my fervent wishes. Prayers for our warriors abroad and LE across the country. Prayers for the poor and sick. Prayers for all those that are lonely or unwanted. May his Son give hope to all. Amen.

  8. Merry Christmas Mas! So what is your opinion of headcams? (Need a catchy name) I see a whole lotta lawsuits in the making. Nobody is perfect but I know the vast majority of LEO’s try very hard to do the right thing. I think they are going to get dinged for every little boo boo. Am I wrong?

  9. We ae hoping for some after Christmas sales to stock up with. In refernce to the mini cams, we just had an officer related shooting in FT Smith. The officer was wearing one and it was clear that this was justifiable. This technology could be a great tolol to show many just how dangerous the JOB is .

  10. “So what is your opinion of headcams?”

    Great legal risk. If it DOESN’T show what happened – due to weather, field of view, or direction head was facing – lawyers surely will argue it was deliberately turned off; that happened with a shooting of a drunk driver here a couple years ago not recorded by a patrol-car camera.

  11. “We ae hoping for some after Christmas sales to stock up with. ”

    Wait until JANUARY 15 or later – because that’s when it will be obvious to many retailers that they didn’t make enough this Christmas to last to next, and they will dump merchandise at fire-sale prices. I expect Jan. 15 will be when word gets out – publicly or not – that many retailers plan to close.

  12. Veery nice pic of the park Next to the PNC towers where I used to work. Very nice that you get to Louisville every now and then.
    Merry Christmas


  13. Mas: may you have a wonderful and safe Christmas and New year. Apologies for the late addition, but have been sick for the last 3 weeks. that flu was a S.O.B. Loved the story by Jim–reminded me of the many Christmas’s past. God Bless you and yours. Thanks for writing for Backwoods Home. Again God Bless you and yours and ALL of the readers of this fine mag(even the ones that may not agree with this Politically Incorrect old man) 🙂