May they all be white | VailDaily.com

May they all be white

Don Rogers

Christmas brings on such a cacophony. At work, everyone wants to be somewhere else, and who can blame them? ‘Tis the season. But this is a seven day a week, every week of the year kind of deal. Welcome to journalism. For the paper, there are no days off. Sorry.At home, the kids are hyped. The wife is stressed. Moms carry that special burden of upholding the traditions, which naturally focus on that “making memories” aspect of family life. A lot of it has to do with shopping until she drops – here, Denver, Glenwood Springs, on-line. I’m quite sure this has something to do with our younger staffers’ anxiousness around this time of year. Their moms no doubt did a great job.I know my kids aren’t nearly ready to let go, even though both are teens, and oh so worldly now, just ask them. But when their mom consulted the eldest, who is 16, about whether “Santa” should maybe this year wrap all the presents instead of delivering his wares whole, the answer was emphatic and immediate. No way. And he was quite sure his 13-year-old sister felt just as strongly. You don’t mess with tradition.It won’t be much longer now that this holiday gets very special and becomes the rare day we have the children snug in their beds at home, our home. Might as well play it up now, while we can. I’m sure that the first gifts for our then-wobble heads were as much for us as for them. Still, some remain treasured friends to this day. Ask the boy about Barker, the girl about Sally. We’ll treasure the memories always. I don’t think I can even remember how we really got through our days, never mind Christmas, before the children. But I’m sure we were very worldly, then. Just ask our younger, pre-children selves.Prime time for Christmas coincided with visits to the store and mall Santas, when the darling ones hid behind Dad (Mom had the camera in those days), peeking around at that scary dude in the goofy suit and big white beard. Talk about wide-eyed and terrified.Soon enough, there were midnight carrots, eggnog and cookies to sample during long predawn assembling sessions. I would say the decals probably were the worst. Mom was a drill sergeant. This had to be done right. Just so. Making memories, you know.Now, these years were also the ones that the wee ones in their fuzzy footy PJs, having conquered their fear of the weird red dude in the big white beard, had such anticipation they arose with quite the clatter in the predawn hours. OK, elbow in the side, get the coffee, find the camera (where’s the film?), ooh and aah as if it all were a big wondrous surprise, making sure the parts are all in place, and off we go. Besides the flurry of torn wrapping paper (breeding great consumers, I’m sure), I remember the long naps starting right around noon. These years carried us to this glorious corner of Earth on Christmas. Thank God our ski passes were blacked out.Now, well, the boy’s idea of a car won’t exactly fit under a tree. Plastic won’t do for the girl’s wishes for a horse. Fortunately, CDs may tide her over for awhile, even if we find them a bit hard on the ears. At least they are sleeping in a bit longer now.Work has, well, even that worked out for us. I have not felt comfortable these past years leaving town during the holiday season, given the unsettled nature of the newsroom during this hectic time and colleagues distracted from the work mission. Fate of the “boss,” I guess. Still, this makes the explaining why we’re not traveling to the now-outside family easier and our nuclear experience more satisfying. For a variety of reasons, including the fact that most everyone in our clan lives in Southern California or Hawaii (re: warm), no one in our families has nearly our interest in the snow. Hey, their loss. It’s crazy enough this time of year as it is. Mele Kalikimaka. May all our, and your, Christmases be white.Managing Editor Don Rogers can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 600, or editor@vaildaily.comVail, Colorado