>Christmas Thoughts

>I’m one of those annoying people who likes to shop for Christmas gifts or birthday gifts for people year round. For one thing, it helps keep the holiday season less stressful because I’m not as worried about finding the exact perfect present within a certain time frame. And it also can reduce the stress of things financially if you happen to find things on really good sales in July that sell for three times as much in December. Case in point this year–while browsing Kohl’s clearance rack in July, I stumbled across a Imaginex dinosaur that moves (according to the packaging, just like a real dinosaur, which makes me wonder how exactly one verifies this…), roars and its eyes light up and glow a great red hue. It was on a really good sale and I was really excited to be able to buy it for my nephew then–and at quite the savings. Of course, the hard part was having to keep it hidden for six months, esp. a few weeks ago when he came over to hang out and let Uncle Michael try and right the injustice that he’s five and has never seen Star Wars. He wanted to check out the closet of loot I have, where I keep presents hidden. And the dinosaur was something you couldn’t necessarily put behind stuff becuase it was kind of tall and kind of obvious what it was. But it met some of my critera for giving of gifts to small people–it was cool and it made noise.

Yes, I am doomed at some point in the future when I have children. Payback is going to be hell.

I think if it were up to my nephew, we’d open presents over the course of a week or so. He loves opening presents, but he really wants to go all the way when it comes to opening gifts. As in–let’s get it out of the package entirely and play with it for a while before we move on to the next gift. The problem is that it can take up to six days and a pound of TNT to get into a lot of the packaging on toys these days. I’m sure I’m not the first and won’t be the last to make this observation.

I really love everything about Christmas. But the part I love most is just getting to spend some quality time with my family and friends. Getting to see everyone open their presents is so much fun and I love being surprised by what people have picked out for me. And just to enjoy all the good food this time of year. I went to the choir Christmas party and there was little on the table that did not have carbs in it. I did pick up a few veggies to put on my plate to try and at least feel like I wasn’t eating a complete meal of carbs. But, man you just can’t wrong and it was blessed by a minister, so that cuts the calorie count in half, right?

Of course, now we begin the trek toward new year and the inevitable resolutions. I’ve begun preparing myself for a myriad of new faces at the Y, crowded classes, crowded pool lanes and crowded exercise machines. It hasn’t started yet, but I expect the trickle to begin next week and really just explode as we build up to the BCS title game. (Speaking of which….yawn….). It happens every year and a lot of these people will be there and active for a few days or weeks, only to be gone by Valentine’s Day. Each year, I find myself both looking forward to the activity level dropping off and hoping it will stay at the same level and that some of these new faces will stick with it and make a choice for a healthier lifestyle.

But that’s another thought, for another day…

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