Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

December 25, 2012

LEFFLER: Everyone deserves to have a merry Christmas

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Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — It’s the most wonderful time of the year. And for kids around the world, the entire calendar revolves around today — Christmas.

This morning, kids woke up early to get a peek under the tree and despite their best efforts just couldn’t wait long enough to wake their parents so they could open all the wonderful presents that Santa brought.

Or at least that’s how I imagine it. My ex-wife and I always had to wake our kids up. They always chose today to sleep in for some reason we never understood. And frankly the excitement was more than we could handle.

Some years Santa was extra generous. Some years Santa just couldn’t seem to fit as much under the tree. Oddly Santa’s generosity was tied to how well the Leffler family itself was doing financially. I think it’s a subsection in the Santa Clause that says he’s not allowed to show up mom and dad.

But every year we had Christmas.

Sadly part of that Santa Clause means that some trees go nearly empty year after year.

Also noteworthy, some kids understand fully well — without ever being told — that Santa has his limitations. Those kids make the most peculiar requests of the Jolly Old Elf. We know this because sometimes the US Postal Service reads their letters … so they can help Santa out.

This year, even more than in years past, the postal service has noticed that the things kids ask for are simple. Jobs for parents without work. Shoes, coats and blankets. Simple things that most of us take for granted.

For those of us who are doing well, it’s hard to really imagine those that aren’t. Sure we donate to the local soup kitchen or drop some coins off in the red kettles outside the big box stores or grocery markets, but the scope of need nationwide — as well as in our own communities — is just staggering.

It’s a good thing we’ve got organizations that help. It’s a good thing that there are men and women at the postal service going through letters to Santa to find families in need and giving them merry Christmases, too.

I have everything I need this year. All I asked Santa for was to have my family be together on Christmas to enjoy each other’s company and watch the sparkle in each others eyes.

Over the years Christmas has changed. When I was a young boy, it was about toys and games. Then I grew up a little and it was about time with family. And back to toys and games when my girls were younger. And now that they’re a little older, it’s back to time with family again.

Take a minute today to inventory what you have. And revel in all that it is. Some people aren’t nearly as lucky as you. And that’s up to you to decide how you define lucky. Maybe it means more toys and games. Maybe it means more time with family. But today everyone deserves to be happy.

I hope you have a Merry Christmas.

Scott Leffler is a very lucky boy. And he gets a little sentimental this time of year. Follow him on Twitter @scottleffler.