As long as you're a kid at heart, Christmas has to be a favorite time of the year. It's a time for family. It's a time for friends. It's a time to be together. Sure, sure, sure. Giving and getting presents is fun, too. So is eating too much food that's not really good for you. And, really, who doesn't like Christmas carols?
My favorite part is putting up Christmas decorations. Lately, though, my efforts have been relegated to outdoors decorations. I put up the lights, get the inflatables in place and make sure the Santa flag stays unfurled on windy days.
The Missus and Colin, however, tackle the indoor duties, setting up the Victorian village and arrays of snowmen. Last night, they decorated the tree. Each year, at least one of the ornaments -- from Santa Clauses to trains to a cat hanging from a string of lights -- is dedicated to hockey. This year, it's none other than the Great One -- Wayne Gretzky.
As much as we pride ourselves on being a hockey family, it was Colin who put it into perspective:
"Daddy, who's the Great One," he asked?
"Well, buddy, it's Wayne Gretzky," I replied.
"Oh," Colin said, "I thought it was Santa Claus."
You know, he's right.
Lumps of coal
My request for financial assistance with pucks as Hound Central 5.0 readers want us to push past 2,000 for the collection might have been a joke (unless, of course, someone really wants to), but my request for hockey-hounding stories from readers wasn't.
In fact, I'm a bit disappointed by the tepid response. I'm not asking you to write War and Peace, folks, I'm just interested in sharing your stories with like-minded individuals.
Chances are, if you've been reading the blog this season, as well as the previous four, you've gotten at least one autograph -- either in-person or through the mail. In either case, there has to be a story behind it. How did it happen? Why did you pick the player? What did you do with it? See
See? It's pretty simple, isn't it?
From where I sit, I don't believe that's too much to ask.
Humor me, will ya?
5 Big Sigs
With another week and a half before the Philadelphia Flyers come to town, there's little chance of getting any autographs. Instead, let's try something different. Sticking with the Christmas theme, how about five hockey-related presents we hope to find under our tree:
~ a new hockey gear bag for Colin;
~ entry to the Boston Bruins' morning skate on Dec. 28;
~ a certificate good for another season of P.A.L. Stars hockey for Colin;
~ tickets to the Bruins-Tampa Bay Lightning game on Feb. 11 here in Hockey Bay; and
~ another year of pleasant hockey memories, from Colin's rec league games on up to the NHL.