Rushville Republican

December 27, 2013

A Grandfather's Stand on the Father Christmas Hullabaloo

By Dr. James L. Snyder
Rushville Republican

---- — During this time of the year, a certain controversy raises its ugly red-scarfed head. Year after year, this hullabaloo continues and nobody has taken the initiative to deal with this holiday wrangling. That is, until now.

This Christmas inequality has been going on for a very long time. It is about time somebody took some action in this regard.

I know, as I begin, what I am going to say will not sit well with certain portions of the population. Some will even accuse me of jealousy and other foul attitudes. It just has to be said.

This disparity is between Father Christmas and Grandfathers. As a card-carrying member of the Grandfather’s union (GFU), I feel I have the right to express my mind on this subject. In my opinion, Father Christmas is getting too much attention at the expense of Grandfathers everywhere.

Sure, I give you that Father Christmas does have his place in our culture, but I believe I should set the record straight between Father Christmas and Grandfathers.

First, Father Christmas makes up a list of naughty and nice children. I feel, and I am speaking as a Grandfather, this is highly discriminatory. Children should not be subjected to such discrimination in this day of enlightenment.

Today, children have it hard enough. Grandfathers love both naughty and nice children, especially the naughty. Grandfathers know naughty children need more attention.

Second, Father Christmas only comes once a year. What I want to know is what he is doing the rest of the year. From the pictures I have seen, I am guessing it is not in the area of exercise.

Grandfathers are around all the time, not just at Christmas. No matter what time of year, you can always find a Grandfather, which is more than can be said of Father Christmas.

Third, Father Christmas just brings toys in his huge bag. I grant you, some of these toys are terrific. I am not going to sell Father Christmas short on this aspect. I believe credit should be given where credit is due, unless it is my credit card.

Grandfathers should get some recognition for other things that are just as wonderful. Grandfathers, for example, are full of stories, jokes and a lot more.

If the truth were known, Father Christmas does not have the time to tell a story to any child. I think this is sad. Sadder still, does he even know a story?

Fourth, Father Christmas drives around in an old-fashioned sleigh powered by eight tiny reindeer, with no room to take children for rides. What is that all about?

Nothing is more exciting for children than driving around with their Grandfather, usually in some old pickup with an array of unidentifiable aromas. Whatever they are driving, the ride always ends with ice cream.

Fifth, Father Christmas, no matter where you see him, is always in a hurry. He never seems to have enough time to spend with children. Sure, toys are great, but no toy can equal time spent with a Grandfather.

One of the special things about a Grandfather is he always makes time for children. God made Grandfathers for children. Even though most Grandfathers are hard of hearing, they always hear what is important.

I know similarities exist between Father Christmas and Grandfathers. Both, for example, are rotund and quite jolly. Both love cookies. However, that just may be where the similarity ends.

What people do not know, and I have this on good authority, Father Christmas always sends the Christmas bill to Grandfathers. Of course, Grandfathers do not complain about this for one moment. We are glad to help whenever we can; however, it would be nice to have a little bit of recognition during the Christmas holiday.

One thing Grandfathers can do Father Christmas cannot do is pray. Blessed are the grandchildren who have a Grandfather who prays for them.

“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16 KJV.)

One righteous Grandfather is worth all the Father Christmases in the world.