hristmas columns are not my best work. Based on a couple of readers emails, none of my work is any good. I’ll take that; life comes at you fast, gotta keep grinding.
Just so we are clear, when I say “grinding,” I’m talking about work ethic, not the Urban Meyer version.
This column is already off to a bad start.
Anyway, Christmas for many of us is the time of year that you measure your life to a degree. You stand around a gathering of family and/or friends and you take stock mentally. You take stock of your family unit, and most are pleased. You yearn for the ones that no longer fill the room and you marvel at the new additions to the room. Newborn babies and deaths add and subtract to the room each year. New boyfriends, girlfriends, wives, and husbands come and go as part of your “unit,” and you take stock. Some add value to the room, some not so much.
In the end though, we are all lucky if we get to have a “room” that changes with the years. There are many that don’t get to take stock of such scenes. Either by their own actions or the travails of life, they’re alone or near alone on Christmas and taking “stock” must be a difficult task on those days.
For me, I’ll take a chance to enjoy my ever changing “room” of people. I’ll think of Christmases past and remember them more fondly than they probably were. I’ll marvel at what “my room” looks like now as opposed to 20 years ago and I’ll be thankful for both now and then and I hope you can do the same.
I’m fortunate to have some Christmas home movies from my youth. Pretty funny stuff. I’ve got video of my poor grandpas headed down the steps of our home with their pocketed and pressed shirts and their best work dungarees on. I’m sure someone (their wives) told them they had to stay upstairs until the filming started and the kids were ready. They were up at 4 a.m. and had to sit in their bedrooms till 7.
The cigarettes of my youth are the oddest part. Watching the adults open Christmas presents and such with cigarettes going full boat is a blast from the past. I feel like many of us evolved from that stage a bit.
Now we just pass around a touch of COVID.
Christmas gifts now revolve mostly around comfortable socks and sweatshirts and the varying gift card. My top five gifts of all time, you ask?
1-Wilson A2000 baseball glove. Thought that thing would propel me to the big leagues. 10-year-old me was wrong.
2-Big Jim Action Dolls – Yeah, I played with dolls, but they were “man” dolls. No sissy boys like “Ken” allowed. Lots of epic battles between my preferred Big Jim and GI Joes preferred by my friends.
3-Stretch Armstrong – I found out what was in the dude long before the song came out.
4-Farah Fawcett T shirt – Yeah, I sported a Farah Fawcett iron-on T shirt during my teen years. Who didn’t? It was a face shot of her, not the famous red swimsuit, but still a solid gift. Kind of wondering where that shirt is now. Gonna ask the wife where she put it.
5-Mattel Electric Football – Honestly, this was the start of my typing career. I’d spend hours making that little blink of light run for paydirt.
Merry Christmas to you and yours!
(Guy Speckman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or looking for his Farah Fawcett shirt)