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Christmas Presence 

Christmas Presence 

Anytime our youngest son, Dalton, would want something from me or his dad, he’d preface his request with “The law states…”.  Often, he’d pause for effect and then he’d fill in the blank with whatever random request he might have at the moment.  His method was predictable.  He’d state his want, pause, and then wait for our obligatory eye roll.  However, after the eyeroll, he’d always add one more firm and persuasive, “The law states.”  It was as if he truly believed there was some sort of parental law to provide wants and needs.  That little dance went something like this:

Dalton:Mom, the law states that you should feed your kids Pizza King for dinner”.
Me on the outside:  <<eyeroll>>
Me on the inside:  Pizza King does sound really good.
Dalton emphatically:The law states”.

Ok, Pizza King may have been a bad example.  Anyway, it became a running joke in our home.  Whenever anyone wanted something we’d simply say, ‘the law states’.

What Dalton didn’t know was that, as his parents, we made of some of our own ‘laws’.  For example, there’s an unspoken Christmas law that you might want to consider implementing in your own home this year.  The law states…IF it’s Christmastime and IF you’re on vacation and IF everyone in the house is still sleeping, you get to eat the last Little Debbie Christmas Tree in the box.  This is a guilt-free, mini Christmas present that you should enjoy with abandon.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for home-baked goods during the holidays–my mom can cook or bake anything!  And, believe me, we all partake with delight. So, modify the law as needed, but, there’s something special about those Little Debbie’s.

Perhaps it’s the special Christmas tree shape—just like food on a stick, food in the shape of things automatically tastes better; I’m pretty sure that’s a scientific fact.  Perhaps it’s the tiny green sprinkles—after all, everything’s better with sprinkles!  Actually, that’s why I got my niece Sprinkles the Unicorn for Christmas (shhh, it’s a surprise), so she can enjoy edible confetti throughout the year, not just during the holidays!  Or maybe it’s just the fact that they come out this time of year—when our hearts are big, and our smiles are bright; when stores are open late and we rise before daylight.  It’s the small things around this time of year that give me, what the young kids call, all the feels’.

But, one thing I have NEVER loved about this time of year is that awful song, The Twelve Days of Christmas!  Ugh!  It’s like the holiday version of 100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall.  First of all, why are the beers on the wall?  That makes no sense.  And, why would they keep passing them around?  Whether it’s cold and flu season or not, the germ factor here really disgusts me.  But, I digress.  The bottom line is that since I was a little kid, The Twelve Days of Christmas song seemed unendingly long and the gifts utterly ridiculous.  I mean seriously, seven of those days her true love sends animals.  LOTS of animals.  And, I know this because someone on the Internet did the math, literally.  In total her true love sent her 224 animals! I hope she lives on a farm or has hired help because there’s gonna be a lot of poop to clean up.

And, the remaining 5 days, he sends people—a literal boatload of people. Perhaps a shipload of people, because it would have to be a pretty big boat to hold the 140 people her true love sends to her.  I really hope she’s an extrovert!

Thanks to that nerdy Internet mathematician, the generosity of her true love looks like this:

And just when I began to get irritated with this song and with this over-the-top gift-giver, that nerdy Internet mathematician did something nerdy Internet mathematicians rarely ever do, he gave me all the feels’Said nerdy Internet mathematician points out that, in total, this knight in shining armor gave his true love a total of 364 gifts.  364!.

That’s an interesting number, isn’t it?  He gave her enough gifts to last her almost every day of the 365-day year.  Almost.  He saved one day.  Some say that day is Christmas.  Some say that day is when he returns riding high upon his white steed to be reunited with his true love again.  I like to think it’s both; that on this special day he gave her his Christmas Presence.

So, this generous knight in shining armor really did know a thing or two about giving, didn’t he?  He gave presents liberally.  He knew that generosity was important all throughout the year, not just at Christmastime.  This is why we hope that you’ll continue to give through the Community Foundation next week, next month, and next year so that we can continue to invest in Grant County, this place we call home. But, with our new Love Where You Live theme this year, we hope that you’ll also give the gift of your presence in our community.

What do I mean by that?  I mean that it’s time that we intentionally rediscover Grant County.  Do you always take the same path to work? Change the scenery.  Do you always shop at the same big box stores?  Venture out to some of the new lovely boutiques for a one-of-a-kind gift.  Do you always eat out at the same local haunt or, worse, do you always go out-of-town to dine?  Check out some of our specialty restaurants or dine someplace you haven’t been to in a while.  I enjoyed lunch at the Hostess House earlier this week.  Not only was the food delicious, but the service was impeccable, and the Samuel Plato historic home is stunning this time of year.  And, Peggy’s Boutique is upstairs, too.  It might be a good idea to get some extra steps in by shopping after enjoying their butterscotch pie or their pecan balls—both, oh, so good!

The point is this:  Grant County needs both your presents through charitable donations and your presence though actively being a part of our community.  We need you to intentionally Work, Live, Shop, and Give right here in your own backyard.  Give it a try.  Maybe you’ll begin to see our hometown with a fresh lens that will help you see how you can make things better.  I can’t be sure, as I haven’t fact-checked this with the nerdy Internet guy, but someone told me we should do this because the law states.

Merry Christmas, Friends!

P.S.  And, if you must listen to The Twelve Days of Christmas and enjoy a hearty laugh, I’d recommend this version.

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