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George Little: Give the gift of time this Christmas

December 20, 2012 at 07:43 PM

The State Journal-Register

For those 12 and under, Christmas Eve is unbearable. It drags on like a lecture on the reproductive habits of Japanese beetles.

All the being good, making a list and checking it twice, is over. The payoff is yet to come. For me, there was always the fear that Santa knew I tracked mud into the kitchen, or that I snuck off to hunt rabbits when I was supposed to be doing chores, and that I was a multiple offender. I worried constantly that those elves were nothing but a bunch of squealers who didn’t report the good stuff.

When I was 12, my Christmas list was as long as Michael Jordan’s arms. But the items weren’t all that expensive. Several boxes of .22 long rifles, a new pair of baseball spikes and a good pair of gloves were like money in the bank and far superior to underwear and socks.

Ten years later my list was shorter, but the items were pricier and more practical. A new set of tires didn’t fit under the Christmas tree, but as long as they fit on my old Ford, it was all good, and still better than underwear and socks. Whoever thought those “personal items” were gifts anyway? No rational human being ever opened a package of briefs and exclaimed, “Just what I was hoping for!”

Now, my Christmas list is even shorter. Yours probably is, too. Unless we’ve lost a knife, or ripped our coveralls on a barbed wire fence, or have finally come to grips with the fact that equipment loaned five years ago will never be returned, we really don’t need much more stuff.

What I really need, what I really want, is more time to use what I already own. Most of us have a rod and reel we haven’t thrown into the water for a year or two, or a gun we haven’t shot in the past two years. I’d really like more fair weather hunting days in November and December, or a couple more hours of daylight during deer season.

In the misguided hope of creating some time, I suggested to the Little Girls that we skip the gift giving, and the inevitable exchanges. Instead, we would all cook a magnificent Christmas dinner and spend the afternoon in a food coma watching old movies and just celebrate the day. That didn’t go well.

Grounding it all in reality, I know that the Little Girls have the need to shop for something. I’m going to ask for a plain, gray, zip up the front, lined, hooded sweatshirt … no logos … no camo … no fancy stripes … no Thinsulate … no Gortex … nothing but a gray sweatshirt. That’s not as easy as it sounds. It may require inter-galactic travel. I bought the last one on the planet 10 years ago. With luck, the shields will hold and they will achieve re-entry by Christmas morning.

I hope your Christmas is merry and bright.

Contact George Little at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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