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Posted: December 29, 2008 5:00 a.m.

A lean Christmas?

I was amazed at the Wall Street Journal story about children selling toys "to some people who don't have much ..." to raise money so they can have $100 dolls for Christmas in "lean" financial times.
Part of me wants to encourage children who show more inventiveness and imagination than we have seen from the Big 3, Wall Street and Henry Paulson put together.

Part of me wants to cry out: "What about Toys for Tots, the Salvation Army or a local Ronald McDonald House?" Shouldn't their parents be encouraging thoughts of others instead of selling toys to avoid a "lean" Christmas for themselves? Some showing of "tenderness" as Scrooge opines?

These thoughts reminded me of what I thought was going to be a "lean" Christmas many years ago. It had been a hard year, one when my teenage daughter had decided that I needed help understanding TV commercials. You know the patient sort of explanations that parents need in order to simply get through their days. I must confess to being at best a reluctant student for such instruction.

It was also going to be a "lite" Christmas in terms of presents as well, or so I thought. It was with the usual parental enthusiasm that I took the package I was handed on Christmas morning. What I unwrapped appeared to be an ordinary book, or so I thought. Then I opened it.

My daughter had gone through pictures of us together and created a story of our lives together. It was an act of giving of herself that made it the best Christmas present ever. We don't have to ever face a "lean" Christmas so long as we are willing to give of ourselves.

Patrick Durusau is a local resident of Covington. His column regularly appears on Fridays.

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