A lean Christ­mas?

We don’t have to ever face a “lean” Christ­mas so long as we are will­ing to give of our­selves.

The Covington News - - Local news - Pa­trick Du­rusau Colum­nist

I was amazed at the Wall Street Jour­nal story about chil­dren sell­ing toys “to some peo­ple who don’t have much ...” to raise money so they can have $100 dolls for Christ­mas in “lean” fi­nan­cial times.

Part of me wants to en­cour­age chil­dren who show more in­ven­tive­ness and imagination than we have seen from the Big 3, Wall Street and Henry Paul­son put to­gether.

Part of me wants to cry out: “What about Toys for Tots, the Sal­va­tion Army or a lo­cal Ron­ald McDon­ald House?” Shouldn’t their par­ents be en­cour­ag­ing thoughts of oth­ers in­stead of sell­ing toys to avoid a “lean” Christ­mas for them­selves? Some show­ing of “ten­der­ness” as Scrooge opines?

Th­ese thoughts re­minded me of what I thought was go­ing to be a “lean” Christ­mas many years ago. It had been a hard year, one when my teenage daugh­ter had de­cided that I needed help un­der­stand­ing TV com­mer­cials. You know the pa­tient sort of explanations that par­ents need in or­der to sim­ply get through their days. I must con­fess to be­ing at best a re­luc­tant stu­dent for such in­struc­tion.

It was also go­ing to be a “lite” Christ­mas in terms of presents as well, or so I thought. It was with the usual parental en­thu­si­asm that I took the pack­age I was handed on Christ­mas morn­ing. What I un­wrapped ap­peared to be an or­di­nary book, or so I thought. Then I opened it.

My daugh­ter had gone through pic­tures of us to­gether and cre­ated a story of our lives to­gether. It was an act of giv­ing of her­self that made it the best Christ­mas present ever. We don’t have to ever face a “lean” Christ­mas so long as we are will­ing to give of our­selves.

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