---- — The presents are all unwra-pped and Dad is wearing the latest Duck Dynasty attire while Mom is figuring out what to do with all of the leftover food from yesterday’s feast. All of the children are trying out their latest video games or text messaging friends with the newest model of smartphone. I very much doubt that many little boys are playing with a new train set or attempting to build a tower out of Tinker Toys. Maybe a few kids received a shiny Flexible Flyer Sled for Christmas, but since we had so much rain last week, they can only slide down the hills in the mud. Like a lot of other changes, most of the sleds from the old days have been replaced with plastic dish-shaped contraptions. Another favorite toy that boys use to get was a bright red fire engine to play with. If they still get them, the old-fashioned metal ones have been replaced by a cheaper-grade of plastic ones. Remember folks, if you take your Christmas tree down before New Year’s Day, it is considered bad luck. Well, that is what my mother used to say when I was a small fry. Speaking of small fries, our government would rather have our kids eat sliced apples instead of French fries. I’m not really certain what that has to do with the holidays, but the thought just flashed in my brain. Remember this everyone, moderation of salty and sweet snacks is the key and elimination is not the solution to the growing problem of childhood obesity. I think the nation’s overweight problems stems from more than just poor eating habits, after all, haven’t we been consuming high caloric goodies ever since time began? Inactivity, video games, cellphones and a whole list of other things way too numerous to mention are the true culprits of most of our problems when it comes to obesity. The solution to the problem of obesity starts at home, not in school or the fast food eateries. Teaching our children such things as positive eating, regular exercise, limited use of electronic devices, should begin at home, not in school or anywhere else for that matter.
When it comes to giving our children gifts, maybe they should be more than just toys such as Barbie Dolls, Power Rangers or electronic devices. How about on the top of the list we gift-wrap high moral standards to give to our children. Once we have instilled that into their minds, there is another present that would go right along with high morals. We could all place in a large box, the ability to stand up for what is right and the steadfastness to never back down from their moral principles, no matter what kind of pressure that they find themselves in. A good example is to listen and follow in the footsteps of Phil Robertson from the Duck Dynasty show. He will never be pressured to back down no matter what our society might throw his way. He would rather stand for what is right and lose all of his Earthly gains, including fame and the financial prosperity that comes with such a successful show. God has more to offer him than anything that this world could ever give to him.
Another valuable gift that would never have to be returned to a store is truthfulness. I have witnessed many times, parents telling lies to their children, thus instructing them to become liars as well. Just like batteries go with a lot of toys, so does instruction and leading by example. How can we ever expect our kids to become healthy, honest, dependable and trustworthy, if we ourselves are not living that kind of life?While we are wrapping all of these things to place under the Christmas tree, just maybe we should give them the gift of fiscal responsibility. The future of our country depends on many things and one of them is to become self-sufficient and learn not to depend on government or charitable handouts. We must teach our youngsters the value of good work ethics. They must be instructed to be punctual, dependable and honest. Mr. and Mrs. Gene Stuckey for many years operated the Stuckey Farm Market and regularly hired young people to work in their store and orchard. I personally witnessed them teaching the above-mentioned values to everyone they hired to work for them.
That was a wonderful thing they did for so many years, but why can’t it begin in our homes, so that others do not have to spend so much time doing a parent’s job?After a few weeks, or maybe several months, toys will break or kids will just become bored with them and throw them under the bed or in a closet.
Eventually someone will have a yard sale and sell them for pennies on the dollar. That is one good thing about the valuable gifts that I just mentioned, you will never have to worry about them wearing out, or having to put them up for sale. High moral standards, honesty, dependability, financial responsibility and good work ethics will never wear out. Once given, they have a lifetime warranty and will last forever. I wish I could say that about all of the toys I received as a child, but playthings will never outlast the good and proper things we should be taught as a child. I forgot to mention the gift of discipline. Not having discipline is like getting a new toy, but not having the instructions to put it together. And we all know what is happening in our country since the gift of discipline is not given nearly as much as it was when we were children.I truly hope that everyone had a blessed Christmas, and may all of you have a safe and happy New Year.
Email Raymond Snoke at firstname.lastname@example.org.