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Christmas Past, Present and Future

Merry Christmas from my family to yours! I hope Santa gets all those neatly wrapped presents down the chimneys across the West Branch Valley and beyond. What a wonderful time of year to be a child. The last day before Christmas vacation and the last day before summer vacation were my two favorite days of the school year.

Think back to those days when you were young. The happiness and joy of school letting out for the Christmas season. The anticipation and hope Santa would bring you that special gift. Being allowed to stay up late and watch one of the 13 channels available back in the day. Going to visit your cousins and grandparents and exchanging presents. And we can’t forget the Christmas cookies. Wherever you went pizzelles, Jeanettes, rum balls, sand tarts, chocolate chip and my favorite, the “Christmas cutouts” or sugar cookies.

My mom made the best and she often included Jodi and I when she baked them. We had these “magical” red hard plastic cookie cutters – a snowman, Santa, a star, a camel, a Christmas tree, a reindeer and a jingle bell. I remember being a child and thinking how cool it was to cut these shapes and decorate them. That was high-tech for me. I was very neat with the sprinkles of red and green sugar and those silver and gold little balls of the 70s that could break a tooth when you bit into them if you were not careful.

I liked my cookies more plain than decorated with a side of extra cold milk. I can still hear the ding of my Mom’s gas stove and the words that followed, “You gotta wait ‘til they cool down.” That’s what that extra cold milk was for, to avoid third-degree burns as you ate the hot cookies straight from the oven.

Thanks Mom for the memories and allowing me to have the beaters and bowl whenever you were baking. My sister Jodi was young and didn’t know what she was missing.

Please don’t get caught up in that Christmas season trap of making it all about the presents Santa will bring and making sure your child gets everything they want and more.

The most important present a parent can give is the gift of time. It is what every little boy and girl wants until they grow up and have their own things to do. Time spent with a child is a true blessing. It’s the littlest things that become the most special memories for child and parent.

Play whatever, do whatever, take them wherever they want to go. If Santa gives them a great new game or toy, teach them how to use it or play it. This is one of the best parts of being a Dad; you get to be a kid again.

If they get a new basketball take them out somewhere to shoot. It is not the basketball; it’s the shooting hoops with Mom or Dad they will remember.

It is a great time of year to go to a ballgame, show, movie or concert. No matter the age of the children, this time spent as a family is most important. A Christmas Eve movie has become a Webb family tradition.

Love those kids, teach those kids, spend time with those kids. The love and time you put into the blessing of children will be shared by the World. Please think about the opposite side of this thought, especially in today’s World.

What a tremendous job done by everyone who entered the Webb Weekly/Blaise Alexander Family Dealerships Christmas Coloring Contest. Every year the children’s creativity and the number of young folks entering amazes me.

Thank you to all who colored, glittered, magic markered, cotton balled, painted and glue sticked that perfect picture. It brightens my Christmas season. A special thank you to Simone and Camille Gehr along with Haley and Blaise for including donations to the Salvation Army with their coloring contest entries.

Parents and grandparents give them all a “Great Job” and a big hug from me! They are all winners in my eyes and also to the good folks at the Liberty Arena.

FlyWorld at the new Arena Complex has given the gift of free time to jump, bounce and just flat out have fun to everyone who entered.

What a great way to spend some time with your young ones. And yes you can get in there and jump around right with them. You’ll probably see me there! I’ve added it to my workout regimen. That whole tracking the downed blimp and aliens thing made me realize I needed to get in a little better shape.

A Christmas shout out and thank you to the following, Chase McNulty, Mitchell Klingerman, Joey Worth, Andrew Malone, Gavin Reitz, Logan Edmonds, Cody Shimp, Derek Gehr, Caleb Gehr, Summer McNulty, Juliana Cruz, Sam Stopper, Sarah VanFleet, Alexis Daniels and Teaghan Taylor. These young ladies and gentlemen helped Steph, my editor and right-hand person, with the cover for the grand opening of the Liberty Arena.

I ran into Santa and he was very impressed by all of your efforts! He left me a little present for each of you.

A Merry Christmas and thank you to Todd and Ashley Dewald for taking home the Webb Weekly Christmas tree at the Salvation Army’s annual event. A bid of $800 won the tree, decorations and $600 worth of dining out at Joe’s, The Villa, Ichiban, Sticky Elbow, Ozzie and Mae’s and the Kast Hotel. Thanks to all the restaurateurs for helping a great cause!

An extra $100 was donated to the Salvation Army when Webb Weekly friend Dana Lewis asked Ashley about the decorations. The Dewalds were in it for the dining out and helping a great cause. Ashley simply asked Dana to make a $100 donation to the Salvation Army. Everyone was a winner. Well done, Ashley!

Remember the true Miracle of the Season, our Savior Jesus Christ and may you have a safe and Merry Christmas.

God Bless America.

Jim Webb

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