Christmas morning is my second best day of the year, taking the No. 2 spot to Opening Day at Wrigley field and the start of another "It's Gonna Happen Season" for my team, the Chicago Cubs. My birthday comes in at a close third, because, let's face, birthdays are all about numero uno.
Think about your favorite Christmas, the best gift ever, the gift that brought with it an anticipation that made it nearly impossible to sleep. When I was 10, I asked for a Rawlings leather baseball glove and a baseball to go with it.
I woke up at 6 a.m. Christmas morning and sprinted down the hallway to the living room- it was a sight that I thought could only be seen in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. There were presents galore. After scoping out the scene, picking up, shaking, holding and even smelling numerous presents, it was finally time to wake up my parents and brother.
I was kind of a loud kid, so the task of waking the family came very easy to me. I basically just yelled until they came.
I tore through each wrapped present in a hurry to get to the next one, in a hurry to find that Rawlings leather baseball glove. You must understand, this is the glove that was going to make me the first female baseball player in Major Leagues.
I got the glove, it was the last box I opened, I am not sure if my parents or Santa planned it that way, but I got THE glove. The glove led me to a decent career in high school, but obviously I was not the Cub's favorite second baseman Ryne Sandberg or even the Twins' gritty left fielder Dan Gladden. I'm not going to lie, the skills and heart were there, I just didn't have the necessary speed. Instead, I chose the path where the real money is made, the newspaper business.
That was my favorite Christmas, but the truth is there are 14 million economically disadvantaged children in the United States, the Web site www.toysfortotstwincities.org said. And there are plenty in our corner of the state as well.
The economy has put a strain on many families this Christmas, and nearly everyone is feeling the pressure of unpaid bills and outstanding debt. This year, the Toys for Tots organization is also feeling the economic crunch and is experiencing an all-time low for donations.
The good news is there is still time, with Christmas a week away we can all pitch in and purchase a toy to donate to Toys for Tots.
We at the Marshall Independent will be collecting toys for families in the surrounding area until Tuesday night. Think about your family and not being able to buy gifts for your children this year. Any toys that are new and unwrapped will be accepted. Your generosity in donating to families in need is appreciated.
Even with the efforts of Heart to Heart and other organizations in the area, a need remains for gifts to be donated. There are still families in the area that need our help in providing Christmas presents to their children.
If you or someone you know is in need of presents to put under your tree for your children please contact the Marshall Salvation Army so we can help make your Christmas brighter.