To the Point for 12/14/06


IT’S LESS THAN TWO WEEKS until Christmas arrives, and as I have explained in past columns, quite frankly my family is too busy to enjoy much of the holiday.

This week has been spent working on school projects and studying for final exams and planning for school Christmas parties. It has also been filled with sporting events and meetings and other things that result in using gasoline and eating supper in the car.

Christmas shopping at the Lanman household is nearly complete. My wife and I take advantage of any opportunity that we have to do some “power shopping”, which is difficult to do while trying to make sure we get to all of our childrens’ events and programs.

If the Christmas holiday season is supposed to be a glorious one, then someone forgot to tell all of the hundreds of thousands of shoppers who flood stores throughout the season. Many are in search of some item that simply doesn’t exist; and when they can’t find it, the result is usually anger and frustration.

Ever spend time in rush hour traffic? It’s nothing compared to the ‘fender benders’ that people are involved in while trying to maneuver a shopping cart up or down an aisle. If you try and take a leisurely pace, other shoppers spend time yelling out suggestions as to where you can go to take a vacation; or they ask insightful questions about your heritage.

Merry Christmas.

At a time of the year when we should all slow down and relax and enjoy our prosperity and our family and friends, instead we resort to some lower level of subculture whose main mission is to find, locate, and buy an “Elmo TMX”, no matter who we have to run over to do it.

Instead of reflecting on our year; we reflect our brights into the eyes of an oncoming car so we can get the parking space – it doesn’t matter that it’s in the next county to the store we’re actually shopping at, it’s ours and we saw it and we want it.

Instead of spreading holiday cheer; we spread ourselves too thin while we run from place to place in an effort to buy things for our children and other family members that they don’t need in the first place.

Instead of burning the yule log; we find ourselves on the police log after we run the traffic light out of frustration because we’ve been sitting in the same spot in the road for the past 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, we’re delivering the FFA fruit that our kids sold; going to the elementary Christmas pageant; attending the high school holiday music performance; and driving back and forth to South Dearborn High School nearly everyday to attend some form or another of the “Rivertown Classic” basketball tourney – now having expanded to jayvee boys and middle school teams.

Soon I would expect that South Dearborn will host a basketball tournament featuring pregnant women from each of the four communities who someday hope that their offspring will play in a tournament there.

Hey, if you can charge five bucks for people to come and see it, then I guess you have it. It doesn’t matter that the true birth of the Rivertown Classic tournament happened here under the watchful eye of then-athletic director Wayne Daugherty and not in Aurora, but I digress.

I understand the need for events, but is there anyone else who thinks that our schedule could slow down just a bit during the holidays? Is there any time free to do some shopping and visit some friends?

Cancel a meeting or move an event. Do something to slow yourself down – even if it’s just for one day.

This past Saturday, my wife and I traveled to Aurora to watch our youngest daughter cheer at – you guessed it – a Rivertown Classic tourney. Knowing that our middle daughter also had to cheer later that night for a girls game at Oldenburg (nothing like Oldenburg on a Saturday night in December); we decided to wedge in some shopping between the two events.

It was a good plan, and it would have worked, too, had not five million other people had the same idea. I was trying to turn right out of a parking lot, and the line of cars that I needed to merge into stretched back further than I could see.

It was then that I took time to reflect on just exactly what it was that I was doing – after all, I had plenty of time.

Since “green” is my daughters’ favorite color; and they enjoy collecting pictures of dead presidents; I figure that my best holiday option is to wrap up cash and sit back and let the fun begin.

After all – after-Christmas sales start in just 12 days.