WACHS: Who says Christmas has to end Dec. 25?


All the gifts are gone from under the tree and soon my better half will throw out the cedar tree our son cut from his pasture land and brought to our house so we could have a “real” tree this year instead of the artificial one we’ve been using for some time. The fake one had been our tree of choice for some time, mainly after the real ones got too heavy for my long-gone shoulders to deal with, plus it was getting harder to stand a real one straight in the stand.

Funny how time moves . . . or doesn’t, it sometimes seems. It wasn’t so many days ago that we had right many days to prepare for the day. Then it came and like the wind that’s been whistling around some lately . . . whoosh . . .

Christmas Day was gone.

When I was a little guy it took forever and a day for Christmas to come. Maybe the difference lay in the level of my responsibilities. When you’re eight years old, nobody really expects you to do much in the way of preparation. You’re just sort of there to take in Santa and the sweets and say your part in the church’s young folks Christmas program.

But when you wind up somewhere on the other side of oh, say 31, you have phrases like “some assembly required” and “Caution! Sharp objects” to deal with. They’re enough to make a grown man cry. Then comes the time where I live now that no longer requires putting bicycles together and such.

Actually I kind of miss that.

In many ways, I think, I get my Christmas groove now from anticipating as much as from the actual events. The gifts are nice, the shopping can be, the thoughts that go into the gifts that finally make the cut exciting or at least interesting. And the music . . . outstanding.

One year, the former little guy now a teenagers who used to think I hung the moon played Santa Claus for us. Although he was kinda tired by the end of the day, he did his best to open his gifts and help other folks with theirs. His little sister, new that year since the previous Christmas, crawled from one torn paper pile or ribbon to the next while his little cousin, new since the previous day before Halloween, spent most of her time on the sofa taking in the bright lights. Shining bright eyes of children really do seem like a good way to look at the world and everyone and everything in it.

But it’s really the feeling, the feeling that for a moment the world can stop being hard to get along with, that people can rise above terrorism and meanness and hate and finally do the right thing. Then when that euphoric reality strikes we’re overcome with the feeling of “why can’t we do this ll year?”

Indeed . . . Why not?

Well, here’s how to do it. If I do some of that where I am and you do some where you are and Fred does some where he is and Mabel does some where she is and so on and so forth, then pretty soon most everybody will be doing it and we’ll be living that spirit instead of drinking spirits.

Try it.

You might like it.