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« Goodbye, Mom | Main | The Green Collar Economy, by Van Jones »

It's beginning to seem a lot like Christmas

By Glenn Staab
December 16, 2008

I couldn't get the tune out of my head. "It's beginning to seem a lot like Christmas ..." After the first of the week snow, it's even beginning to look a lot like Christmas. It's sure cold enough to be Christmas.

As most of you know, I'm more of a Thanksgiving kind of a guy. But each year, I try to pinpoint the times that put me in the Christmas spirit; anyway, my kind of Christmas spirit.

On Monday, Carl Peterson (undoubtedly, with a huge assist from K.C. Chiefs owner Clark Hunt) gave Chiefs fans the Christmas present they've been praying for a long time; he's stepping down after the season, which of course, will end before the playoffs. This will bring an end to Peterson's "Five-Year Plan" to bring a Super Bowl trophy to Kansas City. The five-year plan is now in year 20 with not even a toilet bowl to show for his efforts.

Clark Hunt told the fans he would replace Peterson with two people. Most likely, he couldn't find just one person to replace Peterson's ego. Whatever the reason, I can't "wait until next year." I believe that is the official slogan of Chief fans.

* * *

Last Thursday, I had a Christmas spirit moment. The Hays High Chamber singers performed at our Kiwanis meeting. An impressively talented group of young people.

And if you are one of those folks that say there is nothing to do in Hays, you probably missed "Christmas in the Cathedral" and TMP's "Christmas Under the Stars." Well, tonight is your lucky night. The Hays High Music Department is putting on its Winter Concert featuring the vocal groups at 7 p.m. and the bands at 8 p.m., and both coming together to end the concert. The venue is the Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center. The only way you can lose on this deal is to not show up.

* * *

Last weekend was all about Christmas. I never thought my column would turn into a public service item, but a couple that we hang out with decided to get colonoscopies for each other for Christmas. They said my column motivated them. Again the wife used the "if Glenn Staab can do it, you can do it" line to get the husband on board -- so to speak. It's not peace on earth, but it is peace of mind for 10 years.

Friday and Saturday, we attended Christmas parties with my mom and dad. Friday, the Hays Board of Realtors got together and named Shirley Adams the Realtor of the Year and awarded Ronan Sramek with the Distinguished Service Award. Both well-deserved.

On Saturday, we soared to the Eagles' party. It was Mom's birthday; somehow some folks found out about it. They happened to belong to the local barbershoppers group, and the two of them serenaded her. Mom was so pleased with her eldest son. And the food was great; if you like turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, cole slaw, and tons of dessert all cooked to perfection.

Sunday, it was time for our friends' annual open house complete with Wassail. And more great food. My Christmas spirit and waistline was beginning to runneth over.

Even the stupidity of the Illinois governor couldn't dampen my Christmas spirit. It did lead to this conversation:

Glenn: Man, that Rod Blagojevich has some great hair.

Dottie: You have hair just like Frasier Crane.

Glenn: Thanks for reminding me.

My siblings and I usually have our annual meeting of the Staab-Hamel Investment Team (we use an acronym, but I doubt that would get by the editorial board) around Christmas at one of the local watering spots, but this year we had to meet via e-mail, since we won't be getting to "flush the toilet" this Christmas season. (For you new readers: When all four brothers and my sister are together, we flush a small plastic toilet and record the date on same.)

* * *

My next column will be on Jan. 1, 2009. It seems like only 354 days ago, it was still 2007. I'm going to ask you readers for a little help in bringing in the new year.

We all have friends and families returning to Hays during the holidays and throughout the year.

What are their "must" stops? Such as, my brother-in-law, Kyle, will arrive Monday night with the family and count the hours and minutes until he is seated at Al's Chickenette for Tuesday lunch.

I've heard from some parents their kids stop at the Taco Shop as soon as they get to Hays -- before they drop by the parents' house; others say the same thing about Cerv's snowballs. You see what I mean? Include your story if I can use your name or if you'd rather me use initials, or a nickname, or an anagram (borrowing an idea from a friend of mine who writes meandering drivel).

You can e-mail me at

With visions of tacos and beers dancing in my head, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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