I’ve been on a stream of writing about the people and things that I’m thankful for during this holiday season. So far it’s been essentially a two week tribute to my amazing Mom; and for that I’ll never apologize. Though a handful of you did give me a hard time about eliciting tears instead of laughter. I want to continue through this joyous season writing about those I love most and am most thankful for. I just had a little trouble getting started this week. I needed just a little inspiration, and as is often the case, it came from an unexpected source.

I was recently watching a football game, and one of the star players on the field that day had been “mic’d up” for the game. This essentially means that the network had fashioned a durable microphone and implanted it somewhere on or in his uniform so we could hear everything he said during the game and all surrounding sound effects. Of course the networks had to edit most of it and would later air that which was both entertaining, and acceptable for television. Having spent some time on the football field myself, I can assure you that more than likely about 95% was cut from the original recording.

So it got me thinking, what if I were to be “mic’d up” through the course of any given day in my normal life. Suppose I were to wear one of those Go Pro cameras mounted to me and just went through the normal progressions of my day. It’s certainly no secret that my daughters are a treasure trove of great material. In fact, between my 3 little girls and my wife I am only in the top 5 in my house in intellect, wit, and sense of humor by default. And I’m pretty sure the cat is this close to talking so I may slip down to the number six spot.

I then started thinking about that little pork rind with legs on that show Honey Boo Boo. She and her family somehow have a very successful “reality TV show” much to the consternation of intellectual America. The fact that we watch this crap I honestly believe is a large portion of the reason that much of the world hates us.

So my next thought was; what if there were a similar show geared towards a totally different demographic. Catering to those who are not morbidly obese from birth to an untimely early death. To those who treat hygiene as something one partakes in more often than a trip to Jiffy Lube. To those whom if there is something green on their dinner plate it’s actually a vegetable, not a tactlessly disposed of booger. And to those who have not only a firm grasp of the English language, but an appreciation and respect for it. And to those who can trace their family tree without fear of reaching a point in their lineage where it no longer forks.

Well, sadly I’m not yet pitching my own television program, but I would like to share with you some of the priceless and completely true soundbites that I hear in my home on a routine basis. Let me first say that both my father (whom I emulate), and my father in law, (who unlike what most son-in-laws would say is genuinely one of my best friends) are both, believe it or not, just as quirky and silly as I am. So my girls have a dual-edged genetic predisposition to sarcasm, that most normal people would fear rather than embrace.

Then there’s my wife who has completely embraced her role as the quiet, demure, innocent, straight man in the background. While secretly, she is without a doubt the funniest person I’ve ever known. The problem is, nobody knows it but me. She’s also of such a freakishly high intelligence that she just quietly goes about her humble existence and takes her sophomoric husband in stride. She very often just puts her head down and shakes it when dealing with me. She doesn’t read my stuff, and even if one morning I woke up to find that I was the king of the galaxy, she would make absolutely certain to keep me humble and grounded.

So I’ll start this off with a couple of quick stories involving her. A few months ago, my niece got married in Memphis. I’m sure you recall I told you about a portion of the road trip to and from, but it was such an entertaining comedy of errors that it would have taken me all winter to get through it so I pulled the plug on it. It’s not to say I won’t come back to it later on.

Well, between the combination of southern hospitality, and the first female grandchild on my side of the family to wed, it was a multi-day event. In fact it seemed as if the parties and events pertaining to this one set of nuptials rivaled some recent Olympics. Apparently it’s been some time since I had call to get dressed up four nights in a row. When you live at the beach and care not in the slightest about your fashion sense, this is not uncommon. So I brought with me some very nice dress clothes that I hadn’t worn in quite awhile. Fine, I’ll say it, I hadn’t worn since I was still a smoker. As we were getting ready to go to the rehearsal and subsequent cocktail party and dinner, I put on a shirt I hadn’t worn in a few years and had almost forgotten about. As I tightened my tie standing in front of the mirror in out hotel room I made the mistake of saying; “ya know what, I really love this shirt”. My soulmate, without any expression at all, stopped briefly, glanced at me and said; “it must love you too. look how tightly it’s hugging you.” Did I mention that she keeps me humble and grounded.

That is just one brief tidbits of what’s to come in the coming weeks. Unfortunately, I used too many words just to set this piece up. Just wait until you hear the soundbites from my kids.

I’d like to take this time to speak on behalf of my family and wish you and your family the very happiest of holiday seasons. Happy Chanukah to all of my friends and relatives to whom it applies. Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it. And just plain happiness, health and unity to anyone I missed.

Let this season be just that; one of unity. That’s what  this time of year is all about. It’s not about feeling slighted or finding the beliefs or celebrations of others offensive. It’s about love and embracing what makes each of us who we are. If you find symbols or rituals of people who believe in something different than you offensive, grow a thicker skin. If the horrifying sight of the tree in my window is the worst thing in your life right now, then you don’t know how good you have it. Don’t look at it!!!

So shut the hell up with your petty poor me complaints. Embrace your family. Embrace your beliefs, wake up tomorrow, realize how blessed you are, kiss your children, and say thanks to whomever you are thankful to.

From the bottom of my heart, I wish each and every one of you, and everyone you know love peace and happiness.

Thanks for playing along.

Bless you all, Syd Nichols.