My two oldest will make the trek home from college Friday night.
Sara has been planning for their arrival for more than a month. Special foods have been bought, the house has been decorated, Christmas gifts are ready and she has lined up a “schedule of events” to maximize her time with these two sons.
My oldest has a teaching job at the college and will only get one week off. They are riding in my other boy’s truck and so he will probably only be here seven days, too.
We haven’t seen either of them since August.
Dads are supposed to be stoic and detached about these sort of things. It’s the natural order of things for real men to get out on their own and take care of themselves.
But I have to say I can’t wait to have both of them under my roof again!
They say if you want to see anyone on Saturday night in Houston, you need to go to Walmart.
Sara and I went down there the other night and a trip that should have taken 10-minutes stretched into two hours.
We spotted folk we hadn’t seen in some time right inside the door and parked our buggies side by side as we caught up on the latest news.
But this was a store, it is Christmas and Sara had money in her pocket. I last saw her somewhere in men’s apparel and figured she might be shopping for yours truly.
I found myself watching the TVs in the electronics department with yet another buddy. We watched for about 15 minutes before his wife called him away.
I ambled over to sportings goods and then the automotive department. I didn’t buy a thing that night.
A man with a job and a paycheck usually lacks for nothing. If he needs something – regardless of the season or cost – he buys it.
That is probably why the art of shopping is lost on us guys.
Sara has always been good about taking what little I make and going a long way with it. Shopping for four boys requires her to carefully survey the entire store before the proper decision can be made.
I don’t understand it, but I do know how to enjoy watching a professional at work.
I have always said if I can make Sara smile on Christmas morning it has been a good year.
The first year we were married I bought her an electric skillet. She smiled and kissed me on the cheek, but her heart was not in it and I never did that again.
Buy a man a wrench, a drill or gadget and he is happy. I love tools, flashlights and outdoor gear. I give those kinds of gifts to my boys. It makes them happy, too.
But Sara demands romance. Her gift has to be carefully chosen and it must fit just right.
The cost is not always important but it does need to prove how much I value her. More than anything time and preparation have to be invested in this gift.
We have been married for 25 years. Learning how to make Sara smile is one of the joys of my life.
I hope you have taken in one of the Christmas cantatas or musicals offered by local churches this holiday season.
As much as I like decorating a Christmas tree, buying a gift for those I love or spending time with family and friends, I learned a long time ago the real reason for Christmas is Jesus. Without Him the holiday is hollow.
The world turns away from that name more and more each Christmas that I live.
I will be the first to say I have chased making memories and materials things trying to have a merry Christmas. It just doesn’t work.
We’ve got exactly one week to go. I wish all of you a Merry Christmas this year.
Floyd Ingram is Managing Editor/News for the Chickasaw Journal. He can be reached at 456-3771 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org