Column: The Ghost of Christmas Past makes a visitPublished 12:00am Thursday, January 4, 2007
By John Laging, Talking Sports
It&8217;s good to be back. To all those that missed reading my column, thank you. I probably missed writing it more than you missed reading it. I didn&8217;t realize what a big part of my life the column had become. After eight years of putting my thoughts on paper it is a habit I am accustomed to and appreciative of.
While flat on your back many thoughts go through your mind particularly if you&8217;re laid up during the Christmas season. One realization was how few stories have been written about Christmas.
Sure there are The Night before Christmas and various shorts about Charlie Brown and Rudolph, but very few story stories. Maybe it&8217;s because authors feel no effort can compare with the story of the Christ child.
Only one lengthy popular story came to mind written by one whom many consider our greatest English novelist, Charles Dickens. A Christmas Carol tells the story of sin, greed and the eventual redemption of its main character, Ebenezer Scrooge.
Of the three ghosts that visit Scrooge and point the way to the salvation of his character, I like the Ghost of Christmas Past best. This Ghost shows all aspects of Scrooge&8217;s past life, both good and bad. He showed traditions of Scrooge&8217;s previous Christmases and embodied the giving associated with Christmas. He also seemed to have a sense of humor.
As I laid there and thought, it seemed to me that traditions play a huge role at Christmas time as
we teach our children about Christmas, the Christ child and our celebration of his birth.
Traditions are handed down from generation to generation. That a certain angel goes on top of the Christmas tree. Oyster soup is made for grandpa and most importantly love, is expressed by word and by gift.
Sports writers like everybody else have traditions and one of mine is handing out gifts for celebrities meant both sincerely and tongue in cheek. I&8217;ll let you decide which is which. Like the Ghost of Christmas Past I will step back in time, in my case just a few weeks, and present my gifts.
The Minnesota Twins/ A wonderful summer
The Minnesota Twins/A starting pitcher
Joe Mauer Twins catch/A nice guy award
Justin Morneau MVP/Another year like 2006, eh?
Johan Santana/A World Series ring
Francisco Liriano/A good as new elbow.
Brad Childress Viking coach/A personality
Brad Childress Viking coach/A dozen expressions to be used as needed
Brad Johnson Viking quarterback/A long off-season
Randy Moss ex-Viking receiver/A return ticket to Minnesota
Troy Williamson Viking receiver/Eye-hand coordination
Minnesota Vikings/More Detroit Lions
Kevin Garnett Timberwolf star/A
large bottle of perseverance
Gopher Men&8217;s basketball team /A fast forward button.
Kevin McHale/A new job
The German people/Strudel for voters electing a woman leader
Tony Blair English P.M./A large thank you
George Bush/An open mind
John Kerry/A sense of humor
All politicians/The right stuff
All those using 9/11 for selfish reasons/Illumination
Rudy Giuliani/See above… To Our U.S. Troops/Our heartfelt thanks and prayers
Merry Christmas and I&8217;m sure the Ghost of Christmas Past would join Tiny Tim in his Christmas
message of &8220;God bless us, every one.&8221;
Jon Laging writes about regional sports issues from him home in Preston.