Schneid Remarks

By: 
Jay Schneider, LIFE/Enterprise

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to one and all. As I write this column Christmas morning, it never ceases to amaze me the generosity and friendly nature of those living in the Lake Region Area. It just seems like people come out of the woodwork when individuals and/or businesses are faced with tough situations. We have all seen it the last couple of months with events which has transpired in the area. People should be proud of their efforts in helping those in need. Enough said.
Christmas Eve I got the chance to attend my 25th Christmas celebration with my wife's family in Le Center. It is a tradition with the Von Bank family to hold their family celebration on the eve of Christmas. As we sat around the Christmas tree opening gifts, it was interesting to see how things have changed, but at the same time stayed the same. The cast of characters in the family has grown over the years. The amount of presents has dwindled with our age. That part of the night gave me a tear in my eye. It is so much fun purchasing gifts for kids. Now we only have one "kid" in the immediate family, Jayson, who is 17. Next year he will be an adult and will take part in the white elephant exchange with the other 14 adults. Luckily this year we had a chance to buy gifts for a 6-year-old, who is the son of Jayne's nephew's girlfriend. Teddy is this little guy's name and boy what a bundle of energy he was. As we all gathered at the house, the anticipation of this little guy was very apparent. Every time one of the cars would drive up with family members, Teddy would look at the window and ask if everyone was here yet. He did it in such a kind manner, I wished we could take him to the basement where all the presents were under the tree. Teddy was so patient. I remember just a few years back when Jayson and my other nieces and nephews were the same way, waiting to get a chance to peel off the paper on gifts from Santa and others. Teddy sat on my lap for a while and we talked about kindergarten, his girlfriends (he claims he has none), and I show him NORAD on my cell phone, which proved Santa Claus was on the way. So Teddy knew the time was getting closer. So after approximately two hours of watching TV, looking out the bay window, and snacking on a few crackers, the time had come. The last family members had arrived. The family of 16 proceeded to the basement (family room) and the fun began. We asked Teddy if he would deliver the gifts and of course he was as giddy as a jack in the box getting out of his box. Teddy was the perfect delivery kid, reading everyone's names he could, even though he wasn't quite sure who everyone was. He had only seen most of us on a few occasions, but the little fella did a great job. And of course the look on his face as he got a chance to finally open his presents was worth the wait. I miss the time when we had kids to purchase gifts for. Teddy brought me back to that time, which brought a smile to my face all night. Looking at Facebook this morning at all the families who have young children also brought a smile to my face. I miss those days, probably because I know our "baby" is less than six months away from joining the adult group. Thank you Teddy for bringing joy into our family's Christmas Eve celebration. After all the presents were opened, Teddy stood in front of everyone and said, "I am going to remember this day forever!" Thank you to the Von Bank family for allowing me to enjoy a quarter century of laughs, and gifts, and of course my father-inlaw Jack's world famous beef jerky.
Christmas is a special time and I hope everyone had a great celebration.

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