Well My Darlings, I’ve made my last batch of Chocolate Do Das, wrapped my last present, and I’m ready for Christmas. Just these past few weeks, I’ve sat out on the porch of the store and watched as people have been coming and going and I’ve been busy at the store. I did have a customer stop by the other day to ask me to help her figure something out. It seems that her grandson has been spending more time playing video games than she thinks he ought to be spending.

She found several games that he had loaded onto his game player and she wanted to see what they were all about. So, I loaded them up and let me tell you that when she got a gander at what her nine-year-old grandchild had been spending hours watching . . . to say she just about threw a hissy fit is an understatement. Never in all her born days, had she imagined what some of these video games were all about. I asked her where he had gotten these games and she was sure that his older brother had given them to him.

I watched her sit and think and when she got up to go, she turned and said, “I’m going home and call my daughter and her husband and the feathers are going to fly because they need to get their priorities straight and stopped worrying about their kitchen renovation and their stainless steel appliances! And God help them if they don’t have a clue as to what their child has been entertaining himself with as they argue about paint colors while their children are watching this trash! No wonder the older boy flunked out of college and just sits at home all day and complains that he can’t find a job. I guess his studies got in the way of his cell phone and video games. My younger grandson’s grades are dropping and they’re going get him this game dohickey thing that costs a fortune and reward him for his failure as they soothe themselves for their failure? I don’t think so!” When she left, there was no doubt in my mind that Christmas will be interesting for that family this year.

Children are not satisfied this day and age with the games we used to play: Chutes and Ladders, Monopoly, Scrabble, and I remember my parents thinking that Elvis was way too racy for me to watch. Well, things have changed and maybe, in some ways, not for the better.

In the light of recent events, I think we all should take the time to realize just how precious our children happen to be and that they need more from us than just presents under the tree. They need our concern, attention, guidance, and to take responsibility for their futures by teaching them how to be responsible for themselves. To teach them that they don’t always win and life is an investment that if you don’t put anything into it, you don’t get much out of it. That disappointment is something we all experience along with the things we learn when we fail. We have to be really careful as too many of our children are watching too much Trash TV and playing too many games that blur the line between reality and fantasy. I get the impression from some children that they believe that life is a game. Who will teach them that it isn’t a game? Their parents or someone else?

Yes, I think that too many of us have forgotten the “Reason for the Season” and so my gift to you this year is a poem that was written in 1816 and it goes like this: Silent night, holy night. All is calm, all is bright. Round yon Virgin Mother and Child. Holy Infant so tender and mild. Sleep in heavenly peace. Sleep in heavenly peace. Silent night, holy night! Shepherds quake at the sight. Glories stream from heaven afar. Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia! Christ, the Savior is born. Christ, the Savior is born. Silent night, holy night. Son of God, love’s pure light. Radiant beams from Thy holy face. With the dawn of redeeming grace. Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth. Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth.

Merry Christmas and don’t forget, it’s just a matter of learning . . . unlearning . . . and . . . relearning.