By Keith Gibson

Will Santa be well for Christmas?

Do you remember when you were young and started hearing about Christmas, just after Thanksgiving Day??  People were decorating their Christmas trees. Holiday trees had not been invented yet by the PC crowd.  The word PRESENT was being used again.  This word penetrated very deeply into the dark recesses of the lad’s head and triggered the beginning of a master plan of action.

The first thing to do was to start a wish list of all the things you REALLY needed to survive until the next Christmas.  The Sears and Roebuck catalog and the Montgomery Ward (or as we called it “the monkey ward catalog) were gone thru for ideas.  Why couldn’t Santa just make it easy and bring you one of each item.

The essential items were first on the list, such as train sets, Gilbert Construction kits, Log Cabin and farm sets, Louisville slugger bat and other important stuff.  The things like warm winter clothes, boots were non-essential and you always got those anyway.

It was time to start doing the proper things and be the perfect little angel that you knew lurked under your regular persona of doing as little as possible without getting in trouble.

You dug up from the dusty rafters in your head all the right words to start using. Such as, “thank you, yes teacher, yes Mom or Dad”.  Even though it was very painful you might even muster a “thanks sis”.  You knew that such sacrifices to your sterling character would only be needed until that great day on December 25.  After that, you could return to normal.

This would of course be good training for any future politician as they do this same thing right before election day. The Friday after turkey day finally arrived. It was the day of the Christmas parade.  You scrubbed you face and without any threats from Mom, you actually washed behind your ears.  It was the day to sit on Santa’s lap and you had to be the perfect kid.  Clean and humble.  With the angel look you had practiced for  in front of the mirror, in between looking for that first whisker, you looked up at Santa and said,  “All I want is something for my little sister”.  You had already sent your long list to him at the North Pole and now he will remember you as being so humble.  You prided yourself on the plan and how you pulled it off.  It was foolproof and of course no other kid in history had the smarts to do it.

It was such a little boy that was peeking thru the curtain around his father’s bed in the University of Utah Hospital.  He was looking at the bearded man in the other bed.  That man was Don Reed of Ely.  He had suffered a stroke and was there for treatment.

His white beard surrounded his rosy cheeks and the big grin he always had.  Don was one of those folks that shared his cheery outlook on life with others.  He  noticed the little boy staring so hard and with a very concerned look on his face.   Don knew at once what the boy’s concern was all about.  Would Santa be able to make his rounds on Christmas eve??

Don motioned for the boy to come closer and then told him that Santa would be just fine and would be certain to stop at his house.  A big grin soon flashed over the lad’s face and he happily went back to his father’s bed and announced that Santa was going to be fine.

Even though Don was hurting he never failed to grin and make others happy.  That little boy will have a huge story to relate every Christmas for many years.