Hello everyone! I hope you’ve had a fantastic week and now it’s time to celebrate! I’m looking forward to spending some much needed time with family and friends.

Hello everyone! I hope you’ve had a fantastic week and now it’s time to celebrate! I’m looking forward to spending some much needed time with family and friends.
Have you ever realized that it is the little things you remember the most? One of my favorite Christmases growing up was the year we had what seemed like stacks of presents all around the Christmas tree and as we rolled out of bed before daylight, the excitement was almost more than we could bear. My parents always wrapped the gifts the night before so we had no idea what the spoil was going to be until we awoke Christmas morning. The number of gifts always varied each year as a child depending on what work was like for my Dad. Being self-employed, and mainly in construction, winter was always tough. However, that particular year must’ve been a good year financially and the hard work had paid off. As I rounded the corner of the hallway toward the blinking Christmas tree lights, all I could see was presents! Stacked all the way to the ceiling it seemed! Glittery red stockings hung from the doorway, and they were stuffed and overflowing with goodies!
Of course, we had to wait for Dad and Mom to wake up and get their coffee, and by now we were chomping at the bit, ready to tear into the wrapping paper that was the only thing between us and the revealing of what we were going to get. Finally, after Dad read the story of the birth of Christ from the Bible, we were given permission to start unwrapping. It was a glorious time in the Baker house that morning. Wrapping paper strewn everywhere faces all smiling and happy, Dad and Mom pleased that they were able to provide an extra-special Christmas that year. But, you know, of all the presents I can only remember two that I received that morning, and both were in my stocking. A silver slinky, and a barrel of monkeys. Yep. That’s it. Probably the least expensive of all the gifts I remember the most! But the reason I remember those so vividly is because of the interactions that were created with my siblings and parents because of those toys. My Dad stacked up all the gifts like stair steps and showed me what the silver slinky could do. All my other 5 siblings (at the time) also got a barrel of monkeys and we played together with those plastic monkeys all morning even after we opened the other gifts.
So just remember this Christmas, it’s not about how many gifts you receive, or even how great the gifts are that matters the most. It’s the memories that you share with others that you will always remember. Take time this Christmas to make memories with the people you love, and extend some generosity to those less fortunate than you. Make it a Christmas to remember! Until next time, have a holly jolly Christmas Neosho!

Ben Baker is the mayor of Neosho and writes a column for the Neosho Daily News.