Thursday, December 17, 2015

"Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards." ~ Aldous Huxley, (1894-1963), Novelist and Philosopher

The other evening we were in Bellaire, Texas for an appearance at a very busy Chick-fil-A. The store itself was pretty small and so crowded they moved me into a tent on the parking lot. It was very balmy that evening. Santa doesn't do well with balmy but what a blessing when my brother Victor and sister-in-law Maria showed up. As most of you know we are a part of a huge blended family and these folks have been a part of our lives for nearly forty years. These two. They are the real deal and I so much appreciate them coming and visiting with the wife while I did my thing. Don't forget to remember to be thankful for your family. This too is a gift from God. Amen.

Okay. I get it. It's Thursday, December 17, 2015, and kids, I mean little kids, are really more mature than they were when I was a little whipper snapper. Games. They all want games. Five year olds crazy about games. That's okay. Right? You know, maybe a learning game. Or, a game designed for their age. Think again Bucko! I'm talking those kinds of games when dad butts in and proudly announces their kid has mastered the most violent blood and guts game on the market. I know I'm just the Santa guy doing my thing but that doesn't sound like a good idea to me. What say you? This is not the case with every little guy but it is way too many of those who seem to be longing for the next release of some kind of sniper game. I thought about how it was when I was a kid. It was so much simpler in those days. About the only thing that plugged in would have been a train and we didn't have any of those. Back then what was I thinking about? Finding a good looking stick to play with. Playing outside. All day. You won't be surprised how many times the little ones have had to leave my lap to go and help mommy get her phone set up to take a photo. More than a few. I'm not trying to make some grandiose social indictment here, just pointing out the need to allow our children to be children. I see so many adults who seem to be so proud their kids are not immature. You know, like young kids should be. In my opinion. And, my opinion matters, because I'm the one who keeps the Nice and Naughty list.

As most of you know I am an observer of all things that come up on my radar screen. (Or, more accurately, my TV screen.) Last Sunday evening our local professional football team played in the premium time slot. Being chosen to play at this time was considered by many to be an affirmation of the prestige and potential this team carries. The local NBC affiliate hosted a one hour pre-game show. It was hard to watch. One would have thought we were hosting the Super Bowl. I am not exaggerating. It was so over-the-top it made for good comedy if nothing else. I can't remember any team with a record of 6 wins and 6 losses coming into a game getting this kind of build up. It was giddy. They played what is thought to be by many pundits the best team in professional football. That team, the New England Patriots, lived up to their reputation. Our team played like a 6 and 6 team, losing in a final score of 27 to 6. They say some 70,000 people showed up. The hype was so thick you could cut it with a knife. The big build up and then came the even bigger let down. Pretty sad stuff if you ask me and I'm just giving you my two cents worth from my reserved seating found in my recliner. (Full disclosure requires that I admit to switching between reruns of NCIS and Marty Stuart during this fiasco of a game.)

Because our team is in a very bad division some people are going bonkers because we might actually make it into the playoffs. Maybe in the back of their minds they are thinking that whoever we might play would call in sick that day. Don't get all huffy on me. I'm just giving you my man-on-the-street observations. I don't need a lecture on what it means to be a true fan. I saw plenty in that pre-game show that had it written all over themselves, literally. And, I do hope they do well. I really do. That's always exciting. However, spinning and hyping mediocrity does not do much for me. Let me see. It's Thursday. Right? I've probably had my hands on seven or eight hundred kids this week. Likely that number is higher. And that was only three different Chick-fil-A's. I can honestly say that Mrs. Claus and I know what it means to play to a standing room only crowd. Three hours straight. Hardly even a second to catch our breath. Bottom line, some of the most lovely children in the world came to see us and we were privileged to help them make a memory. That's what we do and it is pretty rewarding. Fatiguing? Sure. Frustrating? At times: Absolutely. A unique and wonderful blessing? Amen and Amen. See you next time and may God add His blessings to each one. Amen. .....More later.

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