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PEOPLE WATCH
Boxing Day Thoughts
From Casey on vacation...

by Casey White
December 26, 2002

Boxing Day Thoughts_Casey White-From Casey on vacation... Holiday family traditions are the things that generate long-lasting memories. They are an imporant thread in the 'fabric of life.'

My sister started a new tradition for our extended family this season, and it was creatively based on a white elephant gift exchange. A nephew, who is eleven years old, and nearly the first to pick a gift, found that he got exactly what he wanted on his first try. He was elated, and his face beamed.

However, it was not long before another family member took this gift away, and replaced it with a less desirable gift. Disappointment and concern showed up in my nephew's furrowed brow.

However, he knew he had one more chance late in the game to reclaim his prize, so after the special gift had exchanged another hand or two, he seized his 'extra turn' at the end of the game to return the gift to its rightful owner. The look of excitement, exhilaration, and triumph sparkled on his face as he took a valued prize back, according to game rules.

Sorry to say, though, one of his cousins also had an extra selection at the end of the game, and wound up taking this valued gift away from him. Suddenly, the twice-won special gift was instantly turned into an unwanted and undesirable gift. Double joy turned to double disappointment. His face could not help but show his inner feelings of grief and sorrow. And yet, for an eleven year old, he took it very well, and he rolled with the loss.

Nothing tests our abilities to 'take life's ups and downs,' to 'roll with the punches,' to 'be gracious in both victory and defeat,' and to be a 'cheerful giver' and a 'good sport,' than a game like this between family members or good friends. These are American values drilled into us with familiar phrases repeated throughout our years.

It's hard on an eleven year old to experience these opposite extremes so first-hand and so close together. Yet perhaps this was a valuable bonus lesson in life, and a 'leg up' to handle life's roller-coasters.

It's a thought I'll pack away this boxing day, to save and bring out, as needed, when I take my turn in the front seat of the "High Roller."

About the Author:
Vacationing near the Blue Ridge Mountains, Casey sends his thanks to Red Cooper for filling in as guest people watcher.


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