(This article originally appeared on page 2 of the December 26, 1958, publication of The Bonham Daily Favorite and is reprinted word-for-word below.)
NEW ORLEANS, La (UPI)
It was a merry Christmas for the Christmases – all 18 of them – in spite of all those wisecracking telephone calls.
There were Josie, Eugene, Margaret, Lorie, Rose, Sam, Earl, Louis, Winfield, and Joseph. But no merry or even Mary.
Josie says she was the only Christmas in town, that she knew of until about 15 years ago. Then members of the Christmas family began migrating downriver from Natchez, Miss. Now they all get together for Christmas.
Among them are housewives, soldiers, construction workers meat packers and a physiotherapist.
As usual on Christmas Eve, the telephone at Josie’s house jingled constantly while the Christmases were decorating their tree. The callers were anonymous, but the nature of the calls was familiar.
“If you’re Christmas, where’s Santa Claus?” one caller asked.
“Merry Christmas! Ho, ho, ho!” said another.
And another: “Christmas? I thought you didn’t arrive until the 25th. Are you here already?”
The maker of that last call was informed, cheerfully, that the Christmases are around 365 days a year or 366 in the leap years.