Wishing everyone a very merry Christmas!Free Access

Merry Christmas! May you find peace and tranquility this Christmas Day and have it last the whole year through. And may you find a fair share of presents under your tree.

In my case, I always have to hope I get more than I deserve. That way I will get at least one present. Not that I would ever deserve zero presents, but I would rather be safe than sorry.

I know I do not deserve all this snow and cold! I love a white Christmas, but enough is more than enough. Plus, a white Christmas does not mean I want a cold one.

If the weather prediction comes true for the next few days, it will be more than cold enough for me. Twenty, 30 degrees cold enough. It is almost as if I am an overachiever! Cold overload.

Thankfully my body does do a fairly decent job adapting to cold. Or rather, my extra layers of clothing adapt to the cold. My flannel-lined pants definitely help.

In the winter, when I go outside, I become an onion: multiple layers. And sometimes I cry when I peel the layers off. Either that or it is the ice melting off of my face.

Ice is one part of winter I do not like. Unless it is a skating rink or an ice fishing lake. Although it does have another plus. It allows me to prove to the world I really do walk on water. Most of the time; sometimes I slip and fall.

I have already slipped and fell twice this winter. Well, I have slipped numerous times but only fell twice. Twice too many for my liking. However, there is a silver lining.

According to the book, “The Rules of Winter in Minnesota” — an unwritten book by almost-famous author Stephen A. Condon — everyone is allotted one fall on the ice each winter. So, as I have doubled my allotment and have fallen twice, I not only have this year covered, but next winter as well.

It is either that or I have someone else’s fall covered. Even though this is the season of giving, I am not about to give up a fall to someone else. Would they ever take the fall for me?

Even with the snow, cold and ice, I love Christmas. Christmas is a nostalgic time. A time for recalling sweet memories of Christmases past. Like my mom’s beautiful picture of Mary and Baby Jesus she “painted” on our picture window each year.

Or how Dad would kick off our fun, old-fashioned family Christmas by loading us in the old rear-wheel drive sleigh — station wagon — and driving the streets of Hutchinson to embrace the frosty majesty of the winter landscape and view that most important of Christmas symbols, Christmas lights. We would return home to find Santa had visited and left our gifts underneath our silver Christmas tree.

Other years we did not do the tour. Those Christmas Eves, instead of being ushered into our station wagon to tour the lights, we would be ushered upstairs to tour, well, our bedroom until we would hear Mom’s “Ho! Ho! Ho!” telling us Santa had arrived.

At our house, Santa came not during Christmas Eve night, but during Christmas Eve afternoon. Some of our toys were broken long before others even got their gifts. With 11 kids, Mom convinced Santa to have our house be his first stop. It helped her sanity. After hours of being asked when Santa was coming, it was either Santa get here or else!

My hope is our kids will someday be able to look back on their early Christmases with as much fondness as I look back on mine. Then I will know Kathy and I have done a great job.

Maybe someday they will even join together and write a book or make a Christmas movie about their youth. It would probably be a comedy. Christmas Vacation style.

A Christmas movie would actually be right up my alley; I can relate to so many of the main characters like Charlie Brown, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, George Bailey from “It’s a Wonderful Life” and little Randy, the kid in “Christmas Story” who fell and could not get back up.

I can even relate to Flick, who got his tongue stuck to the flag pole in the same movie. Yes, I have had my tongue stuck to cold metal. Not even on a dare or a triple dog dare.

When I was little, I used to dream about someday becoming Santa Claus, much like Scott Calvin in “The Santa Clause.” As I aged, I changed the dream to playing Santa by having a sleigh and giving out presents to local children. Then I got married and just gave to my kids.

The Jackson County Central Middle School kids get their “gift” tomorrow by having an early start to their Christmas vacation so things can be moved from the old middle school into the new one. School resumes Jan. 3, 2023, in the new building.

Their athletic events will also be on break until Jan. 5, 2023, when the basketball teams play Worthington.

As I close, I again wish everyone a very merry Christmas. May you have good cheer, enough to cheer on our athletes to victory. Go, Huskies!

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