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Season’s greetings
JOHN GIBBS is a resident of Gays Mills, Wisconsin. He is an award-winning weekly columnist for the Crawford County Independent newspaper in Gays Mills, Wisconsin.

GAYS MILLS - I hope you’re getting (and sending) lots of season’s greetings.  It’s always fun to make those annual connections with friends and kin far away, and this year we need all the connections we can get. 

Many cards are simply signed, which is OK and understandable. Other cards include pictures and family letters detailing what has happened during the year.  

The vast selection of Christmas cards available makes sending cards easy and a joy. Thanks to Hallmark and all the other card makers for putting into words the way we feel along with some outstanding art.

My grandmother used to exchange about 100 Christmas cards every year. After she and grandpa moved to California in 1952, she was very proud of being able to stay in touch with so many friends in Wisconsin. Our family hit a peak of around 50 cards at one time and that number has gradually gone down. 

I think of the heavy use of the U.S. Mail during the holiday rush. I don’t remember ever hearing any complaints about getting all those cards delivered, unlike the panic about taking care of mail-in ballots, as we did this year. I guess that turned out to be a non-issue, after all.

One family of our relation takes a creative way of sending holiday greetings: they simply call those on their mailing list. We still feel greeted, maybe even more greeted than with a card, and the opportunity to talk with them is special and meaningful.

I want to share with you something I found online recently, author unknown. It’s something every parent can relate to. If you’re like me, you struggle with the question involved and this sure seems like an appropriate answer.

My children ask me the same question every year: What do I want for Christmas? 

After thinking about it, I decided I'd give them my real answer:  I want you.

I want you to keep coming around, I want you to bring your kids around, I want you to ask me questions, ask my advice, tell me your problems, ask for my opinion, ask for my help.

I want you to come over and rant about your problems, rant about life, whatever. Tell me about your job, your worries, your spouses, your kids, your fur babies.

I want you to continue sharing your life with me. Come over and laugh with me, or laugh at me, I don't care. Hearing you laugh is music to me.

I spent the better part of my life raising you the best way I knew how, and I'm not bragging, but I did a pretty darn good job. Now, give me time to sit back and admire my work, I'm pretty proud of it.

Raid my refrigerator, help yourself, I really don't mind. In fact, I wouldn't want it any other way.

I want you to spend your money making a better life for you and your family, 

I have the things I need. I want to see you happy and healthy. 

When you ask me what I want for Christmas, I say "nothing" because you've already been giving me my gift all year. 

I want you.

Season’s Greetings to one and all.