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Wednesday, Apr. 16, 2014

Family is the best present of all

Posted Monday, December 19, 2011, at 10:33 AM

Greetings as we approach the holiest and happiest day for Christians around the world -- the celebration of the birth of Christ.

After all of the hustle and bustle the past few months and weeks, the fruits of the shopping labors will soon be ready to be unwrapped in family gatherings this week.

Our family is having our gathering and gift exchange on Thursday evening. I'm looking forward to a joyous time with both daughters and son-in-laws, along with the four grandchildren, who will all travel thousands of miles to be back in Greene County for this special holiday.

We could even have a surprise visitor, providing he can make his way to our rural Newberry homestead from the North Pole.

It's always a special treat to see the gleam of anticipation in the eyes of the little ones when they tear into their beautifully wrapped packages -- destroying them to heap of trash in a matter of seconds -- to get inside to the boxes where the real good stuff is located.

I always enjoy quickly extracting my gifts from the boxes with no detail or concern for saving the wrapping paper, much to the chagrin of certain members of our clan, who have spent hours carefully wrapping and placing colorful bows on the packages.

But when the package is turned over to the Christmas tree, any possession rights or the ability to tell me how to unwrap a gift is gone.

It's all in good fun and I look forward to it. Some family members have even tried to make the unwrapping task more of a challenge by using heavy duty duct or strapping tape wrapped around the boxes to hinder any quick opening, but having a trusty knife nearby always helps.

This year, my want or wish list for Christmas is very short.

Just having the whole family together is the best and only Christmas gift that's on my list. It really means so much to me.

However, I am getting one early gift that I'm not sure was on Santa's "good boy" list.

I'm getting a much-needed surgery on my elbow.

The doctor will unwrap by elbow Wednesday afternoon in what has been termed a pretty routine surgical procedure to repair what is medically known as ulnar nerve entrapment -- or in terms I can understand carpel tunnel syndrome of the elbow.

It appears my persistent, repetitive keyboard typing strokes over the years has taken its grind on my body and caused a tiny nerve to jump out of place in my elbow -- causing numbness, pain, some swelling and general discomfort when I type and even when I don't.

The last couple of weeks, the heating pad has been my best friend, providing some relief when I'm at home.

The doc says it's time to get it fixed, so Wednesday afternoon I'll venture to Bloomington to go under the knife for the estimated 45-minute outpatient surgery. I shouldn't be out of the saddle long -- a day or two, if things go well, I am told.

I know the timing is not great, and I apologize to my family and co-workers, but in this day of high insurance deductibles, it's probably wise to take advantage of things like a costly surgery after your yearly deductible has already been met.

So, as we approach this wonderful holiday, let is not forget the reason for the season.

It's not about Santa Claus, his elves, gifts or good food.

Christmas cannot be bought, created, or crafted by hand.

It's about Jesus Christ and his birthday celebration.

On Christmas morning it might be wise to take a "Tim Tebow" touchdown knee, smile and look to the heavens and simply say thank you for all your blessings.

Merry Christmas to everyone and thanks for reading my weekly offering of thoughts, opinions and observations. You are appreciated.

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