Bill Belichick is the National Football League’s version of the Grinch. The head coach of the New England Patriots recently said Christmas is very inconvenient — coming in the middle of the football season.

Whatever. I enjoy the Christmas season — the festive music, holiday parties, tasty treats and the approaching NFL postseason.

But mostly, I like to give. I love finding the perfect gift for those that are special in my life. I enjoy seeing people open a gift I chose especially for them or hearing them share about what it means to them.

One thing I purchased/created for my mom this year was a special Christmas ornament. Since John and I only have canine kids, my mommy is gram-mama to Lucifer and the General.

I found an ornament that had a picture frame opening and underneath is written, “Grandkids.” I decided to alter it to say, “Granddogs.”

I decided it would be best to sand down the raised letters before writing “dogs.” How appropriate that I ended up using our doggie pedicure nail grinder — it worked perfectly. I can only imagine the look on gram-mama’s face when she opened it.

In addition to giving, I also like to receive. When the package came from my parents last week, I rifled through the box. My mom had hinted about sending money as one of our gifts.

I look at monetary presents as an opportunity to purchase something that I may not otherwise buy. Since I still had some shopping to do on Amazon, I wanted to know how much I might have in case something caught my eye.

I found two identical gifts in the box. I told John I suspected they contained checks for each of us and suggested that we open them. He was more than happy to take a peek.

My parents enjoy knowing what we buy with our present money. The first year, we pooled our money and bought a flat screen TV. Last year, we spent half of it on heavy-duty dog harnesses (and I also purchased some titanium earrings and John got some vinyl records).

While I have yet to spend this year’s gift money, John ordered a really nice Hamilton Beach electric countertop stand mixer. I don’t think my folks will be too upset that he already spent the money. He promptly used it to make several dozen cookies, which were shipped off to them the next morning.

Despite Grinch Belichick’s sentiments about the holiday season, I’m looking forward to the regular season wrapping up. While my friends that are Seahawks fans are still on the edge of their seats, my Rams and Saints have already punched their tickets to the postseason.


Tammy Malgesini is the community editor. Her column, Inside my Shoes, includes general musings about life. Contact her at or 541-564-4539.

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