This time of the year has become known as budget time for me the past several years. Since moving into management, and now serving as publisher of three newspapers, I spend a large portion of the final two months of the year crunching numbers and worrying about revenue and expenses for the following year.
I can see the light at the end of the budget tunnel, which is a great feeling. What makes the close of the budget season even more enjoyable is knowing Christmas is almost here.
Now that is a reason to celebrate.
First and foremost the reason to celebrate is the birth of Jesus and what all that means. His coming gives us the opportunity for eternal life. Enough said!
Christmas has always been a special time for me. I have so many great memories from when I was a child, teenager, young adult, father, and husband. Too many to list, that's for sure.
But I'm going to share a few, and if you'd like to share some of yours, I'd love for you to comment on this blog.
* When I was still at home in rural northern Morgan County, I don't ever remember not going to Midnight Mass at St. Susanna in Plainfield. That's back when Midnight Mass was actually at midnight. I remember going to bed early and not really being able to sleep because I knew I'd have to get up for church. Midnight Mass was even more impressive than regular church because of all it represents. On the way home I was always concerned that Santa would pass by our home because we weren't there. Of course that never happened.
* I had a discussion the other day with Kandi Collins and Montica Pingleton, marketing consultants at the Greencastle paper, about whether or not Santa wrapped presents. In our house, Santa never wrapped his presents. There were three different areas of toys for my two sisters and myself on Christmas morning. All toys were put together and ready to be played with. My sisters and myself couldn't get up until my parents said it was OK. If we had to use the bathroom, for example, our parents would come get us and then cover our eyes so we couldn't peak at what Santa brought. Sounds a little silly now, but I always tried to peak but never did see anything.
* Once Rachael was old enough to understand what was going on each Christmas morning, Deb and I had a difference of opinion about Santa. Her Santa only left one present not wrapped when she was a youngster. All the others were wrapped and placed under the tree. What would Santa do for Rachael? We split the difference.
* Deb and I always had a great time on Christmas morning watching Rachael's reaction to her presents. They were wonderful moments. One Christmas in particular that I remember is when she got her first set of golf clubs. I took some of my old ones and cut them down. I was warned not to do that because they weren't really junior clubs and she might form bad habits (I think her golf game turned out OK). She had used plastic clubs to that point. When she saw them she said, "Now I have REAL golf clubs." She used those golf clubs for several years, and I have a picture of her in a Reggie Miller jersey swinging her driver at the old ISU Stadium Course in Terre Haute. Most of those clubs are in our garage. I can't bring myself to get rid of them.
* I've always had a hard time buying Christmas presents for Deb. I normally end up with something she likes, but getting to that point isn't easy. A couple of years ago I bought her some nice earrings (I got in trouble because I spent too much) and I gave her her present a few days early. Her class at school was a challenge that year, and she was discouraged and worn out. So I gave her the earrings a few days early, and it made her day. And that made my day.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas and hope you all create some memories of your own this year.