Christmas Day has come and gone and with it has gone my joy, it seems.On Christmas Eve I drove around town looking at all of the lights on the houses and felt real joy inside my heart. I look at my own lights and those of people who really went all out and I start thinking about how much work it is going to be to put everything away.

Christmas Day has come and gone and with it has gone my joy, it seems.On Christmas Eve I drove around town looking at all of the lights on the houses and felt real joy inside my heart. I look at my own lights and those of people who really went all out and I start thinking about how much work it is going to be to put everything away.


Ditto my tree. My malaise lasted only until the two children in our family arrived for the weekend.


First they were delighted to play with the new toys they had received for Christmas at our house. Then when that wore off (about 30 minutes) they decided the dog needed some attention, so they hooked him up to his lead and walked him around the house. The dog wasn’t really wild about this since he never actually made it outside, but he loves the children and would follow them anywhere, so he obliged them.


Once the fun of the dog walking wore off, we were onto the tablet. We only have one computerized tablet at my house and two youngins that wanted to play on it. Anyone who has ever had a sibling or been a parent understands the "fun" that ensued from that point on.


Since these children don’t live with me all of the time, my tolerance for such "fun" has not built up the way a true parent’s would have done by this stage in their lives. They are good children and generally can be counted upon to behave well. But I have found that the introduction of a shiny new (or new to them) electronic device can turn even the kindest, most well-mannered child into a "she has had it longer than me" or "he didn’t let me finish my turn," screeching munchkin. What is it about the sound a child makes when it is irritated that just grates so badly on a grown up’s nerves? It isn’t the decibel of the noise for I LOVE the sound of them laughing out loud. And they are free to sing at the top of their lungs in my car or around our dinner table. But whining, at any level, grates like nails on a chalkboard with me.


Still even their back and forth over who got to play what game when and for how long brightened my mood somehow. They were there in our living room, healthy and happy. Suddenly the tree was pretty again and the Christmas carols didn’t seem so out of date.



Happy birthday to Charles Kennedy Broome, Joannah Cowart, Kevin Hill, Roland Jones, Celia Schuster and Ray Vaughan, all of Sherman; Valerie Freels and Cody Palmore, both of Denison; Polly Hughes of Collinsville; Morgan Cooper of Tom Bean; Rusty Arrignton of Gunter; Jack Minter of San Antonio; Preston Portman of Durant; Bucky Cummons and Mason Scarberry, both of Silo, Okla.; Leah Martindale.


Happy anniversary to Don and Frances Akin of Sanger.