Reason for the season

Published 4:01 pm Wednesday, December 27, 2006

By By Janet Little Cooper
This week brings an end to the exciting Christmas events that I have been privileged to cover this month.
To wrap up my holiday events, I spent some time last week typing Santa letters written by local elementary students. And I must say, Santa letters have changed quite a bit from when I was writing to Santa. If you read the letters we published in the Dec. 20 edition, you will agree that nine out of 10 letters had a request for some sort of electronic mechanism or a popular toy the girls called "Bratz."
As far back as I can remember the only time I had an 'electronic' item on my wish list was when I was 12 years old and asked for a small television, which I got by the way. I remember thinking then that I was something having my own black and white television and being able to watch "The Love Boat" on Saturday nights all by myself in my room.
But today, children are asking for video gaming systems such as Xbox 360s and Playstations that cost more than $200. The games for these systems alone cost more than the television I got that one year.
And most, requested not one, but at least two of these popular game consoles and as if that wasn't enough, many of the children asked for iPods, MP3 players and cell phones as well. And not just any cell phone either – it had to be the new Razr or Krazr phone that not only gives you phone service, but allows you to take pictures, shoot video, play music, play games, access the internet and watch your favorite TV shows.
I've got to wonder how many babies will get the toy phone that my age group grew up with. You know the one with wheels and a string so you can pull it and see the eyes on smiley face blink up and down while in motion. I have my doubts that many children will have the privilege of playing with one of the many toy phones I did because they will instead be downloading music from the Internet to listen to it on a state-of-the-art real phone.
I also don't recall seeing any requests for a slinky, dominoes, cards or a set of jacks on any of this year's Santa letters. Apparently what used to be a prized possession for me is now not even rated high enough to be used as a stocking stuffer.
With that in mind, I wonder who is going to have the most memorable Christmas? The child who gets the Playstation, iPod, computer, cell phone and go-cart or the child who watches gifts being brought into their home by strangers and is thrilled to unwrap a box to find a small Pillsbury Dough doll and a dollar bill?
In my heart of hearts, I would have to say the child with the least. And I say that because I was that child in the first grade living in Graceville, Fla., where my dad was going to college full time and working a full time job to support his family, when our church family provided gifts for myself and two brothers when our Christmas tree had none. That night is just as vivid in my memory as if it happened yesterday. The smallest of gifts made a lasting impression upon my life.
From my experience with my boys, the Playstation will become outdated, games will get scratched and iPods will go out of style.
Christmas is so much more. Blessings received by being with the people you love and honoring the life and being of Jesus Christ will last far longer than any item written on your wish list. And the best part about it is that in order to receive those blessings you don't even have to write a letter stating your wishes. It is yours for the taking.
Janet Little Cooper is editor of The Atmore Advance. She can be reached at 368-2123.

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