Favorite

The secret 

It's Christmas this week — can't you hear all the little kiddies yelling "AT LAST!" all over town? — and this time of year always gets The Observer thinking about Christmases past. No, we're not talking about that bit of underdone potato — more gravy than grave — that assailed old Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens' most ghostly of Xmas tales, but it feels like that sometimes. The older we get, the more we feel like we've been whisked away into the past around Dec. 15 and are held hostage there until after New Years Day — as if every colored light plants our feet ever more firmly with one in history, one in the present, and a toe edging toward the still-percolating future. As much as we'd rather be publicly flogged than hear Barry Manilow sing "Silver Bells" one more time, though, we can't bring our self to be one of those Bah, Humbuggers when it comes to Christmas. We do still love it so.

The Observer was a quick study in our youth, so The Great Secret of Christmas Eve was self-revealed to us a bit quicker than some of our peers. That said, we had at least seven good years there — and, to be honest, two more where we were HOPING it was true — where Christmas morning was all about the magic, wondering at tiny reindeer on the roof, what Santa thought of our cookies, and how exactly he squeezed himself through the keyhole.

Our dear old dad, who had grown up dirt poor in College Station, loved the holidays. He was a very early riser, a trait he picked up in Army boot camp and never shed himself of. At 3 a.m. on Christmas morning, it was always him that shook The Observer and his brothers awake, telling us that Christmas morning was here — that Santa had came and went in the twinkling of an eye and a puff of chimney soot, leaving good things behind.

Back then, our favorite feeling in the world was waking up on Christmas morning and heading downstairs to see the goodies stacked around the tree. Ma had bought us all knitted stockings some years before — stretchy jobs, each a good two feet long even before the stuff went in. Those stockings were always the best part for The Observer, even better than the wrapped presents: the colorful stockings, too heavy to hang, lying on the hearth as lumpy as a cartoon snake that had eaten its weight in apples and oranges and candy.

Our own son is 12 now, and figured the whole business out long ago, maybe even quicker than his Old Man. He's smart like that. That said, his mother and father will still be creeping around the house after he's gone off to dance with sugarplums on Christmas Eve, the two old elves sneaking goodies out of hiding places and stashing them in the living room, filling the stocking to overflowing. Is it wrong to keep something like that a part of Christmas, even after magic has given way to understanding? If so, we don't want to be right. We never, ever want to be right about that one.

The Observer has been a father awhile now (we'd even consider our self an old hand at it) and we can tell you from experience what our dad obviously knew: The joy of waking up to find presents on Christmas morning is nothing compared to the joy of waking up somebody else to find theirs.

Happy holidays, everybody. The Observer sends all the blessings in the world your way.

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • I'm sorry

    I'm sorry we stood by while your generation's hope was smothered by $1.3 trillion in student loan debt, just because you were trying to educate yourselves enough to avoid falling for the snake oil and big talk of a fascist.
    • Nov 17, 2016
  • Show and tell

    The Observer is an advocate of the A+ method of integrating the arts and using creativity to teach across the curriculum, an approach that the Thea Foundation, with help from the Windgate Charitable Foundation, is offering to schools across the state.
    • Feb 25, 2016
  • Yawp

    The Observer has been in a funk lately for a number of reasons: revulsions and slights, both foreign and domestic. We get that way most years as the winter drags on, once the tinsel and colored lights of Christmas drop into the rearview, soon after we come off the New Year's Day hangover.
    • Mar 24, 2016

Most Shared

  • Trump unfit

    Even as an oligarch, President Trump turns out to be breathtakingly incompetent. Is there any reason to suppose he's even loyal to the United States? Does he even understand the concept? Trump is loyal to Trump, and to his absurdly swollen ego. Nothing and nobody else.
  • You want tort reform? Try this.

    The nursing home industry and the chamber of commerce finally defeated the trial lawyers in the 2017 legislature. The Republican-dominated body approved a constitutional amendment for voters in 2018 that they'll depict as close to motherhood in goodness.
  • Goodbye, Mr. Trump

    It is hard to escape the feeling that the fortunes of President Trump and the country took a decisive, and for Trump a fatal, turn May 9-10, when the president fired the director of the FBI over its investigation of Russian efforts to swing the presidential election to him and the very next day shared top-secret intelligence with Russian officials in an Oval Office meeting closed except to a Kremlin press aide toting electronic gear to capture the intimate session for Russians but not Americans.
  • Raw feelings in the Arkansas Justice Building over workload, pay

    Strained relations between the Arkansas Supreme Court and the Arkansas Court of Appeals broke into public view this week. I expect more to come.

Latest in The Observer

  • More bad news

    As we write this, the Little Rock City Board is readying an ordinance to make it exponentially harder for charities to feed poor and homeless people in city parks.
    • May 18, 2017
  • Art imitates life

    If you're not watching "The Handmaid's Tale" on Hulu, you should be, if your heart can stand it.
    • May 11, 2017
  • How high's the water, Momma?

    he Observer, who is lucky enough to live on the crest of a hill that will never see standing water unless the Good Lord decides to punish mankind with 40 days and 40 nights of deluge again, has watched with alarm as the folks up in North Arkansas have been inundated with rain in recent days.
    • May 4, 2017
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

New Entrance and North Forest to debut with Chihuly exhibit opening at Crystal Bridges

New Entrance and North Forest to debut with Chihuly exhibit opening at Crystal Bridges

Dual Chihuly exhibit opening also brings culmination of year-plus forest project

Event Calendar

« »

May

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31  

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: A long way to fall

    • Nobody on this damn forum has provide one shred of proof that Ron Fields is…

    • on May 21, 2017
  • Re: A long way to fall

    • Jay C Rider is an incredible person. He is absolutely not responsible for ANY murder…

    • on May 21, 2017
  • Re: Arkansas ticks wanted

    • How do we find our local extension service office?

    • on May 20, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation