I hope you get to enjoy an extra day of Christmas

I know Christmas was yesterday, but many businesses, including radio stations, are closed today to observe it. It’s like getting an extra day of Christmas this year.

I hope you had a very merry Christmas. If you have some sort of a Christian background, Christmas is a day of peace, love and caring.

Maybe you enjoyed some long-running holiday traditions, or maybe you started some new ones. One of the things I’ve realized as I’ve gotten older is that not all the traditions endure, no matter how much I’d like them to. It’s just part of life. Before the kids came along, for instance, my wife and I relished our newfound tradition of sleeping in on Christmas Day. But then the kids came along, and that tradition went by the wayside pretty quickly.

Now the boys are young men, and it looks like we might get to revert to getting some extra sleep on Christmas Day again soon. Not this year, though. Colby made it home for the holidays, but he’ll be shipping out for Basic Training in January. Logan’s a senior in high school, and he hasn’t decided what he’s going to do next year. Odds are that next Christmas, both the boys will be in college, and they’ll probably be able to come home for the holidays, but nothing’s guaranteed at this point. With that in mind, I didn’t mind being rudely awakened at 5:30 yesterday morning by my Christmas-crazed offspring.

In the future, I don’t know what our Christmases will be like. If the boys can come home, I imagine they’ll be much like they’ve always been – maybe with the addition of some members of another generation of Stocktons. If they’re off living their own lives and can’t make it back, that’s OK, too, but it’ll just mean our house will be a lot quieter.

Either way, though, you can bet there will be plenty of outdoor activity going on around here. When we get warm Christmases, Amy likes to saddle up the horses and take a Christmas ride. It doesn’t matter if there’s snow on the ground or not, as long as it’s warm enough that we don’t freeze our fingers off halfway down the trail.

And Christmas Day is always a good time for me to get out to my backyard shooting range. I always ask for ammo for Christmas, and my family is always good about delivering. That means I generally have a few boxes of something I can send downrange. If it’s windy or cold out, the shooting session is pretty short, but I can’t recall a Christmas I’ve missed a chance to shoot.

It’s fun if it’s just Amy and me, or even if it’s just me by myself. But it’s always better if the boys join us at the range and make it a full family affair.

Whatever your Christmas traditions are, I hope you got your fill of them, and I hope Santa brought you everything you dreamed of.

Just remember, no matter how excited you are about your presents or how good you feel about how happy the gifts you’ve given others have made them, there is a higher meaning to this day. Keep in mind that the presents you give and get on Christmas are secondary to the gift all of mankind was given more than 2,000 years ago.

Merry Christmas.