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  • Clarke Wallace

I must admit I’m not my best at Christmastime. Probably because buying something for someone close always leaves me wondering if they‘ll like it? Will they ever wear it? Use it?

At a party sometime later you see them not wearing that wool sweater you gave them.

Not that they should have to wear it right away. But it would be a nice gesture if they did, knowing we’d be at the same dinner party.

It’s easy for women to buy for male friends or husbands. We’re open for anything. Sweaters, shirts – no ties please – or whatever. New tires for a relatively older car that’s kept around because it’s a soft top.

Buying a present for my wife Rosanne always befuddles me. She might mention something she’s thinking of buying for herself earlier in the year and does so before I have a chance to, and should have earlier.

I’ve got the answer. Get out a recent catalogue or whatever. Hand it to her. “Give me an idea,” I say.

Rosanne flips through it, stops at the purses. She points to one and voila, I’m pleased.

It’s a nice soft brown leather with straps to put over a shoulder and shorter ones for just carrying it.

Author’s comment: It’s Christmas day. We don’t open presents until our son, Nathaniel, comes, living not far away. She might not be surprised with hers, but both know she’ll love it.

Merry Christmas by the way.

  • Clarke Wallace

That’s what I had in mind about Christmas until I was hit with the last of day of the World Cup of Soccer 2022 in Doha, Qatar. I’d leave my home office, wander down to watch ten, fifteen minutes of it on TV.

What happened? That ‘small portion’ lasted several hours or more with my attention glued to the screen.

The last game: defending champion France taking on Argentina. I was mesmerized by the sheer energy of it.

How the players were knocked to the ground and would get up to play to the end of the game.

Nor could I take my eyes off Lionel Messi for Argentina who at last had his chance to play for the trophy that had eluded him in what they call ‘his storied career’.

He scored three goals during the two 15-minute over-time periods ending up in the teams facing a shoot-out.

Author’s comment: Then it came down to the dreaded penalty kicks – there were five of them – Lionel Messi scored with the 80,000 jumping to their feet in the stadium waving their arms. God knows how many across the world were doing the same thing. and yes... have a very Merry Christmas.

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