Reward yourself


Well it’s that time of year again. Wherever my hometown of Erwin holds its annual Christmas parade the first Monday of every December I know without a shadow of a doubt the Christmas season is officially upon us. On the day of the Erwin Christmas Parade I always spend the day thinking of my father and how he, as a downtown merchant, hated the parade loved by so many in town. Don’t get me wrong, my dad loved Christmas, but he hated having to be off the street by 6 p.m. Saturdays are for parades, he would say. Monday’s are for working.

While my dad may have had a valid point about parades on Monday, if you love America and American traditions this should be without a doubt the happiest time of the year. As for me, I have seen my share of Christmas memories, and while some memories are better than others, I would like to see all my family and friends enjoy this holiday season without all the stress. Christmas is not about the number of presents under a tree, or the amount of money you can spend. You know in your hearts what this season is about, so enjoy the season, enjoy your family and don’t forget to reward yourself and do so without guilt or shame.

As for me, I have been truly blessed over the last few weeks and so I decided to reward myself with a few new widgets. For starters I was blessed when a good friend hired my daughter Sarah to help her clean out and relocate the contents of her storage building. Now Sarah, being very busy this time of year, mistakenly figured that hiring an old man with a bad back would actually be helpful and offered to cut me in on the deal. Well I have to tell you I watched Sarah work very hard for that money, but a deal is a deal and I was happy to accept the small blessing offered by Sarah. My dad used to say if you earned it, you deserve it and Sarah defiantly earned this blessing.

As luck would have it shortly after earning my blessing from Sarah, a good friend of mine who shares my love for widgets received a phone call while sitting in my office. The caller informed my friend that she had just received a suitcase full of widgets that we would probably be interested in. We were off like a herd of buffalos quickly filling our pockets with low-priced widgets. As he always seems to do, my friend got the cream of this widget crop and I couldn’t be happier for him. Did I need the new widgets I bought? Well, as I told my wife, need can be a strong word, but if you can’t reward yourself at Christmas, when can you reward yourself? Afterall, if you earned it, you deserve it.

Jimmy Parker lives in Erwin. Contact him at


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