Friday, December 23, 2016

TOP STORY >> I love Christmas (well…)

Leader staff writer

’Tis the season of smiles, giddiness, giving, presents, food and candy.

Everyone loves Christmas.

I love Christmas.

Well, except for wrapping presents because no matter what I do, it’s wrong. Most years I help my wife by just staying out of the way and then listening to her commiserate about how there were too many gifts, not enough tape and her back, feet and gallbladder all hurt from all that wrapping.

So this year, I decided I would loan my skills and help wrap. I was quickly told that I didn’t know how to cut the paper, fold the ends or even tape the wrapping paper.

My wife spent more time telling me how to wrap each present than it would have taken her to do it all herself.

Plus, I still had to give her my shoulder to cry on about her back, feet and gallbladder.

I just don’t know, but I think the gift inside the wrapping is more important than making sure that my wrappings include hospital corners.

But other than that – I love Christmas.

Well, except trying to coordinate a Christmas with the entire family. Mom, at 90-plus, refuses to budge from her home. The daughter who lives farthest away will only meet halfway. It seems she and her husband don’t like driving hours in the snow, ice and even tornadoes one year. Just no sense of adventure.

Then the other says Santa only delivers at home, and that’s where her husband and younguns will be come Christmas morning. So maybe a few days before or after? How dare we try to interfere with hunting season? This is Arkansas, isn’t it always hunting season for something?

The third child, the boy, is all attitude and made it clear that if he has to wait and have Christmas in January he’ll just mail everything, declaring, “I’m not going to have a Christmas tree still up in January.”

But other than that – I love Christmas.

Well, except all the junk mail catalogues and pleadings to give to this group or that group, and if not, all the little children in the world will die and the dogs will howl and cows will tip over.

I get all these catalogues marked “last copy unless you order.” Well, I never ordered the catalogue to begin with. I even skimmed through one innocent-looking booklet of sales and in the middle of that catalogue there was, well, stuff I wouldn’t send to my former boss.

Plus, it’s unbelievable how many charity groups need the help of my small, flat wallet…and if you give once, oh my, permanent dollar draining occurs.

Let’s see, just this week my mailbox was flooded with pleas from state troopers, the Salvation Army, Patriot Paws, local pet rescue groups, a school for Native Americans, a cancer research group and a pro-life send-cash-now envelope sitting right on top of a pro-choice cry for funding. Oh, please.

But other than that – I love Christmas.

Well, except shopping. I don’t mind parking almost at the end of a row and walking, but when I have to park three lots, two shopping malls and one county away, I become more interested in finding a hospital rather than that store with the sale items.

And it’s amazing how the store is always out of the item, even if I’m one of the first in the store.

Many times a rain check is offered for the next time the item is stocked, usually mid-summer. Then wall-to-wall people, checkout lines are longer than the day and you end up really wanting to deck Holly, whoever she is.

But other than that – I love Christmas.