BILL SAMPSON: Anticipation

With my second cup of coffee in hand, I took my dog Dixie’s morning food out to the porch and checked on her water in her bowl. Some years ago I spent a little extra money and got Ms. Dixie a heated water bowl. The past several days of freezing temperatures sure makes the heated water bowl worth its value. Quickly finishing my cup of coffee I went back inside to my recliner and warmer surroundings. Settling in for a morning of reading, I got to thinking about this time of year and all of the things that it represents. My wife and I have been winding up our shopping for each other but mostly for our family, children, grandchildren and nieces and nephews, and beyond.It seems almost every day brings yet another present one of us has ordered for someone. We anticipate the arrival of the packages and, when they come, they are checked off our list. I watch our grandchildren and their rising excitement about Christmas and the Christmas season. I must confess their enthusiasm is infectious and I find myself getting rather excited as well.Our 2-year-old granddaughter wants to open presents now. Don’t know how we will contain her excitement for another week and really I’m not sure that we want to do that. The older children are a little more restrained but not by much.This time of year seems to bring out the best in folks. I like that! As I go about town, I find that people are in a better mood than usual. It just might be my imagination but I somehow doubt it. People are smiling more and are more polite this time of year. It would be so nice if this feeling of anticipation could be bottled and then used throughout the whole year!I know that for some people, this time of anticipation is really a time of dread. Dread that Christmas will indeed come and they, for the first time, will not be able to share this joyous time of year with that person who was so much a part of their life but ... no more. The joys they shared with their spouse who is now gone are joys no longer.In time, these people who are alone this Christmas, for the first time in many years will be able to capture the joy of this season once again. It will take time but it will be done. Anticipation will be bittersweet for these folks but we can help by staying in touch with these people. We can let them know how much we appreciate them and care for them. It could be a phone call or perhaps a written note on a Christmas card.Anticipation will be mounting more and more as each day passes. Anticipating the arrival of Santa Claus and all the gifts he brings to each boy and girl; of being with family and friends; of the coming of the Christ Child.Yes, anticipation is a good thing and it sure seems as if we have plenty to go around these days. ‘Til next time. God Bless.Bill Sampson, a retired financial consultant, lives in the Cameron area. E-mail him at