I’m a romantic at heart. There, I said it, are you happy? Let me tell you why I’m admitting it right here and now in front of God and my keyboard. I believe that Christmas feelings should occur organically. That, with the coming of the season, we should slide into the happenings and festivities and the preparations intermingled with celebrations, gazing at Christmas lights and warm feelings of joy and togetherness. Unfortunately, and this may be a trapping of adulthood, the season has become one of contrived efforts and planned parties; forced exuberance and harried machinations to, in some way, will ourselves into the “Christmas spirit”. I don’t believe in that kind of thing and I refuse it. Why does this rant begin my Christmas missive? Hopefully in some small way it will explain away the totally disjointed avalanche of facts, observations and events which follow. Best of luck, Ho Ho Ho and all them things.


Nate’s team won the State title in Football, went 13-0, first time in school history for the perfect mark. We went to Mexico in February. Scuba, swimming with dolphins, fishing and parasailing were highlights along with some whopping sunburns and room service orders. We have no idea how good we have it. Abs got a new computer; she’s working on Photoshop type things and is currently doing pencil drawings of Bart’s kids for Christmas. I can make that comment because this comes out so late this year. Brandie changed jobs in January, went to BC/BS. Good move, good people and they seem to appreciate her right. I’m pretty involved with church stuff and we both were football booster parent co-chairs this year. We were in on most of the hoopla and met/worked with some great people. The family minus Nate went on another mission trip with the church this past summer. We went to Ohio around the 4th of July. Much better to be in Ohio in the summertime than Mississippi like last year. Maddie dances about 5 days a week at Nebraska Dance Company. They start competing in January. Last competition last year her tap group placed first overall for their age group. She usually spends her birthday dancing as their year-end concert is around the first week of June. Abbie will be 16 this year and is in need of two things, a job and a Mustang. We hope they will come to her in that order. Speaking of jobs, Nate’s lawn service that he operates with his friend Shane grew again this past year. They bought a commercial mower and can now really rip through things. He also blows snow for a guy who has commercial accounts in the winter. Better him than me going out at 3 a.m.


I hope my opening rant didn’t put anyone off. Maybe I just yearn for simpler times. Times when things just sort of happened and we were oblivious to what had to go on behind the scenes to make it “just happen.” Maybe I want to be a shepherd, completely awestruck by what I see and not so much a wise man who’s given a sign and must follow a path in order to find what’s been promised. I suppose I’m something like Mary and Joseph who were given a gift, a charge and even though they knew there would be troubles and they might be seen as being different and out of bounds (virgin births and immaculate conception of your fiancé’ may raise an eyebrow) they chose to soldier on. I would contend that there’s a bit of all of us in many of the characters at the manger that night so long ago. Maybe that’s what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown. “Til next year…

Happy Holidays-Doug, Brandie, Nate, Abbie and Madison


We’ve all had our moments during the holidays where it was just too much and sometimes adulting is the last thing we want to do this time of year.  Have any stories of classic holiday meltdowns?  I’d love to hear them if you would like to share below.


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