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The spirit of growing older

Allow me for a moment to give a valuable piece of advice to all the children out there. Don't be in a hurry to grow up. Believe me; it's not what it might seem to young eyes.

For example, take the holiday season. As a child, there was an eternity between Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Now, I feel like there were pumpkins and goblins decorating everything just last week.

Surely it isn't December yet.

Alas, the calendar does not lie. Thanksgiving spent with family and friends came and went like a twig snapped under foot. I remember when good times like that used to seemingly last forever.

Now the leftover turkey is even gone, and the adult world is in a frenzy, snatching up gifts for those on the ever-growing list. Kids don't have to deal with that. They just sit back and anticipate what they might be enjoying on Christmas morning.

It's an excellent gig, especially looking back on it. I would advise: Be sure to enjoy and appreciate it while it's happening. I did, and I miss it every time this season rolls around.

I even miss the disappointments similar to the one in the movie A Christmas Story. I grew up during the Transformer era of toys. One year I wanted nothing more than the space station bases for both the good and bad guys.

On Christmas morning, they weren't under the tree, and there was no "You'll shoot your eye out" excuse either. I don't even remember what I got that year, but looking forward to and experiencing the excitement was all that mattered at the moment.

Those times just fly by now and seem so much less significant when there are bills hanging over my head and work on my desk waiting to be done.

Getting up at the crack of dawn to open presents used to be a holiday staple. Now it doesn't mean as much when I know the presents will consist mostly of socks and underwear, again.

So now we get up at 9 and regret doing that because the nearly all-night last-minute present wrapping didn't end but a few hours ago. One more thing kids should enjoy not participating in.

Actually I came up with a formula to figure out exactly when little boys - at least - grow up. And it has nothing to do with when they start getting socks and underwear for Christmas.

Boys should be considered grown when they get socks and underwear and are glad to get them because that means they don't have to venture to the store and buy those necessities themselves.

See what I mean kids?

Web posted on Thursday, December 07, 2006

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