Here's my Christmas list


Ah, Christmas.

Magical, right? The family, the food, the presents. All great things. Christmas gives pretty much everyone that nice warm feeling deep down inside.

I always enjoy traveling to Wisconsin for Christmas Eve to visit my wife’s family. They are good people, and we get a chance to laugh, open some gifts and pretty much eat until we can barely make it to the car for the drive home.

Honestly, receiving gifts is not a big deal for me or really in our house. My wife and I treat ourselves to a pretty good life, which is well deserved after years of hard work and sometimes struggle. When Christmas comes around, there is not much we really want or need.

But I do have a couple of things I would like this year. These are not only for myself, but for everyone. So, Santa, if you are listening, here is my Christmas list.

* I want everyone to be kind to each other. I know, it is a simple request that is heard often. But we need way more kindness in this country. We need more understanding and more compassion. We need less partisanship. We need less judging of others. We need to stop belittling and bullying and supporting those who do.

* I want people to put their phones down when they are driving. Yes, it is against the law to be using a handheld device while driving. But I can’t tell you the number of people I see texting and driving. The morning I wote this very column, I saw a young woman at a stop light in Byron starting at her phone. When the light changed, she started to go, barely taking her eyes off her phone. That is not only unlawful, it is also terrifying. Too many people are killed every year because of this distracted driving. Put. Down. Your. Phone.

* I want the press to stop being targeted by certain public officials and members of the public. Stop calling news “fake news.” There is no such thing as fake news. It is news or it isn’t. Reporters nationwide are being threatened and bullied, even on a local level. This is unlawful and against everything this country stands for. Without a free press, we might as well become Russia or North Korea. Don’t be one of those that battle a free press. You might not like what is reported, but that doesn’t make it wrong or “fake.” True Americans want and support a strong, free press.

* I want people to respect the beliefs and lifestyles of others, even if they don’t approve. We are a judgmental bunch of people, us Americans. But we are straight, gay, black, white, religious, non-religious – we come in a wide variety of flavors, so to speak. One is not better than the other, just different. If you don’t like or approve of what others believe, fine. Just keep it to yourself. We all have the right to be who and what we are. Plus, worrying about how other people live is exhausting. Don’t we have enough to worry about in our own lives?

* Finally, I wouldn’t mind a new guitar. Hey, I’m human, right?

Merry Christmas!