It’s time for Christmas spirit


Tis’ the season for giving.

With Christmas coming Monday, it’s a time to give back to those less fortunate, those who don’t have as much as you do.

It’s not all about that new iPhone you want from mom and dad, or the latest video game, but it’s mostly about gathering with family and friends and sharing in the Christmas spirit.

You know, the whole thing about the birth of Christ, how he loved us all and gave us existence.

That’s really what Christmas is supposed to be about.

But I respect that some of you may not believe in all of that, so I’m just going to focus on what we love about Christmas.

For one, my wife Erin, God bless her heart, plays Christmas music on repeat as soon as radio stations play it, which is Nov. 1. I’ve learned to accept it.

She is a die-hard Christmas lover. We have two trees, one for my 3-year-old daughter Coraline and one we found at a tree farm in Rochester after Menard’s and the Garden Center were pretty much out.

I miss the tradition of getting a real tree at the Kentucky Fried Chicken/old K-Mart parking lot, but that’s another story (thanks, Big R).

My wife’s Christmas joy and spirit is rubbing off on me, and especially Coraline, as we count down the days of Christmas each morning with a piece of chocolate for each day.

“When is Christmas Eve?” is a common question Cora likes to ask just about every day, and it’s cute. We’ve gotten in the habit of telling her how many “sleeps” until the big day.

I must really be joining the Christmas-loving folks because this year we put up lights outside our house for the first time, with white lights on the shrubs and an inflatable Christmas dog named Winston (Cora named him based on a Disney cartoon).

Earlier in the month, my wife and I attended a Christmas class at Cora’s preschool in Hales Corners, and it explained the birth of Jesus with the manger, Joseph, Mary and everyone.

As we drive by houses with Nativity scenes in their front yards, Cora perks up and says “Activity scene,” and she likes to point out the “Queens” she sees.

The bottom line is that this is the best time of year, as we prepare for Christ’s special day with gifts, decorations and family time. It’s pretty nice to get time off of work as well.

While it’s a time for giving, and Lord knows I’ll be donating plenty of clothes and toys this season, we all know deep down that Christmas is a time when we can want gifts and don’t have to feel selfish.

We give our “lists” to our significant other, and Santa Clause brings gifts to our kids.

You wait all year for that special thing you desire.

Erin got me tickets to a Green Bay Packers game against Tampa Bay, and it was a blast.

She texted me her list, and I still need to buy that perfect gift. Don’t worry, I’ll take care of that this week.

What about your favorite local athletes, coaches and writers?

On Tuesday, I asked various people from local schools on Twitter what they want for Christmas. Parents, feel free to reference this list if you’re lost on what to get your kid.

And if you didn’t know, you’re welcome.


“What do you want for Christmas?”

Brandt Gavin, Burlington High School grad: “Family vacation.”


Grant Tully, BHS senior: “Giannis (Antetokounmpo of Milwaukee Bucks) to win MVP.”


Craig McClelland, head football coach, Union Grove: “Offseason weight room commitment from our football players.”


Tim Peterson, BHS grad: “Bose in ear headphones!”


Brock Halbach, BHS senior: “Bucks in 6.”


Ben Golon, BHS senior: “For the Bears to sign Jarvis Landry, and some new clothes.”


Clayton Esch, Union Grove grad: “A free spring break trip lol”


Jaeden Zackery, junior, Westosha Central: “D’Aaron Fox jersey and a big stuffed animal.”


Tim Wester, SLN sports correspondent: “A cure for juvenile diabetes. My stepson has diabetes and has asked many times, “When will I get better?” To say never is very difficult for him.”


Madison Blair, Waterford grad: “I want the Badger men’s basketball team to turn around here in Big 10 play.”


Katie Daujotas, BHS grad: “A movie theater membership at school in Chicago.”


Ben Michalowski, Waterford senior: “A new wakeboard.”


Jackson Enz, Big Foot senior: “Call of Duty WW2 season pass.”


Jared Krattiger, Waterford senior: “New fly fishing rod.”


UGHS Broncos Media on Twitter: “We would like a new iMac for editing.”


Cora Anderson, BHS sophomore: “Some Iowa State gear!”


Ellen Burling, Burlington resident: “A Wisconsin win in the Orange Bowl since my son Brad is there and missing Christmas at home.”


Karlee Lois, UG sophomore: “Mac Book Pro.”


Emma King, Waterford student: “A relaxing day with my family doing nothing.”


Heather Ruenz, SLN editor: “To wake up Christmas morning many pounds lighter and no gray hair on my head. I’ll count my blessings if me, my family and friends are happy and healthy.”


Keiya Square, Wilmot football coach: “Red Ryder carbine action 200 shot range model air rifle.”


Luke Umnus, Elkhorn basketball player: “A conference title.”


Nick Klug, BHS senior: “A Jessa Burling jersey.”


Jessa Burling, BHS senior: “A Nick Klug vintage jersey.”


Holly Johnson, BHS senior: “Quality time with my family, and a hippopotamus.”


Morgan McCourt, BHS senior: “I would like BHS girls soccer’s improvement over the past 6 years to be better recognized and appreciated.”


Ashlyn Barry, BHS grad: “A membership to a yoga studio in Madison.”


Brooklyn Bull, UG senior: “I want to be conference champs again!”


Carson LaPointe, UG student: “A quarterback.”


Brooklyn Vandehei, BHS senior: “A puppy.”


Jack Pettit, UG senior: “Clothes.”


Jack Polick, Westosha senior: “New Barstool Sports gear, or new Callaway Epic 5-wood”


Ava Permanian, Badger student: “Ray Bans or Nike Air Force 1 Ultraforce Mid.”


Caitlyn Matson, BHS junior: “I want to spend time with friends and family. Just to be happy over the holiday season!”


Frank Koehnke, Catholic Central senior: “iPhone X”