Thursday, December 15, 2011
Requests to Santa
I’ve seen Santa a couple of times already in Marshall County.
The children’s faces were aglow December 2 when he arrived by truck, after his sleigh had made a successful landing no doubt, for the “Light Up the Town” festivities in Byhalia.
The line forming to sit on Santa’s lap was a long one, stretching alongside Brunswick Park. Most youngsters were smiling, others a bit nervous and almost crying.
Santa made an appearance Friday night at Hickory Flat for the basketball games versus Marshall Academy.
Once again, I noticed the children in awe of the jolly old man from the North Pole.
Our weather over the weekend, at night anyway, felt a little North Pole-like, too.
This week’s South Reporter includes our annual “Letters to Santa” section with children in kindergarten through second grade making their requests.
I recall over the years, when our children were those ages, getting surprised when the “letters” were published.
That’s one of the big reasons we try to get our Christmas edition to the printer a bit early, so parents can have time to see the lists and let Santa know before he makes his Christmas Eve journey.
Emma is 20; Andy 17 and Erin 9 (almost 10, on January 1, 2012).
We’ve enjoyed running out at the last minute for special gifts because we did not have time to get word to Santa. It was past his deadline. The most notable, of course, was the trip from Aberdeen (where we lived at the time) to Tuscaloosa, Ala., late one night on December 23 to get a doll house for Emma.
We will never forget that last minute babysitter helping us out and the fun we had finding what she wanted.
It’s one of those special Christmas memories that we will always cherish.
I scanned the “Letters to Santa” this year before we sent them to press. It was great to see some of the long-time favorites still on children’s lists. Those include Barbie dolls, Teddy bears, bicycles and basketballs. Others asked for new clothes.
But then I was a bit surprised to see things like iPhones and iPads in the letters from kindergarten through second graders.
Technology has taken over. It’s not a bad thing, but it’s not necessarily a good thing either.
Call me old school. But I grew up reading books, shooting basketball on a goal nailed to a pine tree and playing with my Hot Wheels and GI Joes.
We have a Wii at home. I hardly ever use it.
Lots of children today want games for their Wii or XBox or Nintendo DS or similar systems.
Sometimes I wonder if our children spend too much time with video games and the like.
Thanks largely to my wife Pam and her love for board games and cards, we play a lot of board games and cards at our house. It makes for wonderful family time.
I recall as a child rattling those Yahtzee dice late at night with my sister and keeping our mother awake, no doubt.
Be sure and check out the “Letters to Santa,” particularly if you have children in kindergarten through the second grade.
And don’t worry if you can’t buy all on the wish list this Christmas season. Most importantly, spend valuable time with your children, hug them and say, “I love you.”
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