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The sweetness of Christmas

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By Ken Stone

 

There’s a smile on my face. It’s Christmas and along with celebrating the birth of Our Lord I will be swarmed by the full load of family this week.  You are welcome to come to my house on Friday as busloads of grandchildren, (all of them), and all the children and in-laws and hopefully you, stuff yourself in my house. Just be forewarned that water closet time may be limited.

My outlook may be bright because my youngest son and wife are expecting their first child within a few weeks. This somehow, in my mind, completes a full circle of life.

Adding sweetness to the holidays is my soon to be retirement. 

So, as my dog Cocoa and I tread the sidewalks of Williamstown, sometimes bundled tight to fight back the severe cold and then the next night in yoga pants and T-shirt, I wonder if the spirit of Christmas is somewhat lacking in other’s hearts.

I didn’t expect that my haphazard outside display of Christmas decorations would be huge and blinding compared to the rest of Main Street.  Thankfully a few other hearts spilled forth their spirit with electrified brilliance.

I was hoping that Williamstown’s Main Street would be so over the top decorated that tens of thousands of Lexingtonians and Cincinnatios would flock in a never-ending caravan of awestruck holiday revelers.

This is not a complaint but rather wishful thinking.  It is what it is and the truth about my decorating is; if it’s sort of warm-ish the weekend after Thanksgiving then we have outside decorations.  If it’s bitter cold then we probably won’t.  This seems to have become the rule since heart disease, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, orneryism and how much news I watch influences my body and abilities. (I realize I took liberty with words in the preceding paragraphs).

The reality of life is I am looking with complete optimism for a good and healthy Christmas, New Year, Valentine’s Day and retirement.  I often like to share the stories of all the funny, weird, sad, stupid and like-related things I have seen in a 38-year newspaper career.

Maybe the most important thing I have witnessed has been an ongoing fact of life.  You lose close friends and family, sometime in a second.

I see so many angry people and for the most part they seem to watch news programs non-stop hour after hour and day after day.  I see groups of people who gather to enjoy each other’s company only to be in silence while they text those who are somewhere else.

I see a lack of spirit. I see a lack of civility.

That’s why I decorated for Christmas this year. I decorated for me so that I would feel good and that my feeling might infect my grandchildren and they infect their parents and their parents decorate their homes and people see their homes and go decorate their own.

If not this year - then next year.

(Ken Stone is publisher of the Grant County News. He can be reached at kstone@grantky.com or by calling 859-824-3343.)