A Holiday Perspective

This year, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about all of the young children who will inevitably get their first piece of sporting equipment this Christmas. I think about little Tommy who will get his first football, six-year-old Katie whose parents are surprising her with a gymnastics leotard, and the number of footballs that have already been purchased.

I also can’t help but wonder if twenty years from now, a kid who is getting their first bat in a few short days will win their first World Series and mention the moment that he or she opened the present of their dreams. I also think about all of the little children who yearn for the same moment but will not get it due to different circumstances.

Some people say it best.

How many children will get their first piece of sporting equipment this year?

There may be a little child who has the best baseball skills in the entire world but is not privileged enough to receive a bat or even a ball for the holidays. There could also be a child out there who is the brightest pupil in the classroom but will not receive his or her favorite book to enhance that knowledge they so yearn for.

As I grow older, I spend more time pondering the statement above. I think of the next sports story that will inspire a century like Babe Ruth, Jesse Owens, and Dottie Kamenshek—who is known as Dottie Henson thanks to a stellar performance by Geena Davis in the award-winning film, A League of Their Own.

This time of year really puts things into perspective for me. I think about how I grew up, the traditions my family held, the ones I will continue to partake in, and the ones that are yet to come.

One of those traditions I hold close to my heart was watching sports on Christmas. Now, while this is not a crazy feat as I know most of us “southern folk” do the same thing, I think it is watching sports on Christmas and all other holidays growing up that make me love this industry even more as I am sentimentally attached to sports.

For those of you who don’t know, I knew I wanted to be a writer when I was very young and saw my “Letter to Santa” in the newspaper. While half of it was gibberish as I was only five or six at the time, it is that combined with watching sports as a child on Christmas that makes me love this job—and the people I have met during my eight months here—even more special.

Since I am so attached to the holidays, I wonder if little Tommy and Katie will be too when they grow up. I wonder if the next Tom Brady or the next Serena and Venus will feel the same way, and I wonder if they will tell the same story I tell now—that the holiday season is the reason why they are so attached to their sports. I wonder if a child who receives their first piece of sporting equipment will be the next big sporting name that inspires a generation, and I wonder if there will be a sports editor who is attached to their craft—like I am now—that will have their own “Letter to Santa” moment.