My Christmas list

Ben Robinson

Ben Robinson

All About Ben

By Ben Robinson

It’s that time of year again. I get to put together a Christmas list.

This year will definitely be better than last year. For one thing I am employed this year, so I can actually afford to buy people better gifts than a wrapped sheet of paper that simply says, “Warm wishes from Ben.”

Of course, that also puts pressure on me. I no longer have a girlfriend, so at least that pressure is gone. I still care for the girl, but she probably would not appreciate a picture of me as a present.

One priority is my gift for my father. He’s a bit insulted because I mistakenly wrote in last week’s column that he was dishonorably discharged from the army. Of course, the truth turned out to be he was honorably discharged. Army folks take the extra three letters in the word seriously. I should have known my father, regardless of family problems, never agreed to anything that forces the use of the word “dishonorable” with his name.

But besides, he makes me proud daily now. His biggest hobby has become going with groups to sing at nursing homes. Quite honestly, none of the singing talent was passed on to his future generations, but my father also takes time to talk with the people, spend time with the people, really show he cares. The folks in these nursing homes sometimes have no family to check on them, but my father often seems like a long-lost brother to many of them.

Of course, I would love to have his voice professionally recorded. Right now I hear him practicing through the day, and I do my best to ignore him. But one day I will probably wish I could hear him again.

But professional recording may be a bit out of my price range. Last year, a tape recorder with a built-in microphone was a bit much for me. So I will try to figure out an affordable compromise.

My mother deserves something nice too. With this lost sheep returning home, her responsibilities increased, including cooking for a picky-eating fat boy. She’s still working at age 76, mostly because as a school lunchroom lady, she gets to see so many of the community’s children and be part of their lives. Not sure what I could give her except a less picky son. Perhaps something church-oriented, because she is still active in our little country church.

Then there are my siblings. My sister Rhonda is dingy, but very loyal. If I could somehow bring Elvis back from the grave, that would be perfect for her. My sister Cyndi has health problems, so if I could just give her a year of good health, she would appreciate it. Thom is married now, proving it is never too late to find happiness. Tickets to a Clemson football game would be great for him.

Then there are my two nieces and my nephew. Kevin and Rebecca now have kids of their own too, so that’s three more people to buy for. I’ll have to think more than just getting the kid “something to slobber on.”

So I need to plan quickly, and admit to myself that I still have limited funds. Maybe I will have enough to still get something for that ex-girlfriend in my life.