The Grinches are trying to steal Hockeyville

I don’t know about the rest of you but I am getting tired of listening to all those day-to-day excuses and tough talk

I don’t know about the rest of you but I am getting tired of listening to all those day-to-day excuses and tough talk that is being tossed around by those extremely wealthy players, league executives and owners who are still trying to settle yet another National Hockey League lockout that has gone on far too long and achieved absolutely nothing.

As we now roll on into the spirit of Christmas, this ongoing spat to grab more power and money from the hockey pot of gold, it now kind of reminds us of the age old festive saga of the “Grinch Who Stole Christmas.”

You know how the story goes….the mean and greedy old Grinch is looking down from his cold old mountain home upon the happy town of Whoville, and finally decides on one dark night to sneak down and spoil their Christmas celebrations by stealing all their gifts, trees, decorations, food, goodies and cash to buy more gifts. After the terrible deed has been done, the lonely old Grinch gazes down upon the town and discovers that the Whoville folks are still happy, even though they have lost most of their Christmas cheer. It was then he sadly realized Christmas was not always about gifts and trees and decorations and money but about sharing their love, their friendship and whatever they possessed with each other. At that point the Grinch’s tiny little heart grew to three times its size, he packed everything that he had stolen on to his sled, and took it all back to the good people of Whoville. They welcomed him with open arms, and for the rest of his life he became a jolly, faithful, and sharing friend to all…..similar to dear old Ebenezer Scrooge, who saw three ghosts one lonely night before Christmas and they thoroughly convinced him that instead of being a miserable and tight old man, that he should share his wealth with others, and enjoy the rest of his life full of peace and joy.

How long are these now very grumpy National Hockey League masterminds going to keep stealing the thrill of watching the exciting sport of hockey from the good old fans of Hockeyville? Who knows, their hearts may also grow a whole lot bigger if they all back off and compromise just a little more and then give our game back in the new year to the faithful fans who have always idolized them — at least until now.

Please don’t get the idea yours truly is being some sort of a humbugger this week. In all the hustle and bustle of Christmas there will always be a few bad habits, no-nos, and meltdowns that only you and I can prevent to make it a joyous time for everyone. I thought I’d toss some of them out there to all of you.

• The RCMP are claiming that during their Check Stops over this holiday season they have found that one out of every 30 people they pulled over had been drinking or were impaired, and many are still not paying attention to the rules of sense and safety on the road. Never mind that they have been legislated to hand out much bigger fines or even the seizure of the culprit’s vehicle on the spot, just think of the horrific consequences that may occur if a drunk or careless driver causes a collision. There is nothing wrong with enjoying the annual office party, attending all the many festive functions, or having a few with the gang, but we should always make sure that we all have a designated driver or a place to stay if we have had too many. It only takes one silly mistake to ruin the rest of your life, or someone else’s.

• This of course is a busy and stressful time of the year, and we all know that there will be long lineups, no parking spots, a shortage of what we might be looking for, and not enough time to get it all done by Dec. 24. Many of you who started planning ahead at the 2011 Boxing Day or summer sales have already got it all done, but for those who haven’t, many stores will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week until around 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve. I don’t have enough patience anymore to join the festive mayhem, so I usually disappear and find a quiet coffee shop, or head outside and get a big blast of fresh air.

• If we have to phone our banker or whatever, we may likely get put on hold, but please be patient, because they are getting blitzed with calls, a few very rude and grumpy, which is ignorant. If we are trying to manoeuvre our carts and our kids down those packed shopping isles and someone is parked in the middle visiting, simply relax and say, “Merry Christmas. Excuse Me,” while those overwhelmed cashiers and clerks really appreciate it when customers offer a smile and a thank you.

Whatever the case, have fun preparing for the rest of the jolly way, and please keep your great outside Christmas lights and displays on from 6 p.m. onward during the evenings of Dec. 21 and 22, because that is when the Ponoka Lions Bus will be treating the residents of Rimoka and Sunshine Village on a tour of the community.

Thanks for being such a good sport and a friendly shopper over the holidays, and have a great week, all of you!