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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

The specials are special

Posted Thursday, December 1, 2011, at 2:31 AM

It was a fun evening at the Jernagan home.

Little Man got his first taste of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer."

On Monday night it was "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" -- Boris Karloff, not Jim Carrey, of course.

He's also watched the video of "Frosty the Snowman" twice in the last couple of weeks.

These specials -- along with "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and the Garfield Christmas special -- were the fabric of what Christmas programming was to me as a kid.

(For the sake of full disclosure here, I have never seen "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town." I have no explanation for this.)

These shows went from being must-see TV for me 20 years ago, to "I'll catch it if it's on." They just weren't central to my December viewing habits.

I guess that's the way it goes. When I was a child, I spoke as a child... and all of that.

But with a child of my own, it's back to center stage. I see these shows through different eyes -- the biggest, warmest, brownest eyes you can imagine.

As we watched Rudolph tonight, I found myself watching him as much as the television. I was thrilled when his unblinking stare was locked on the screen. I was disappointed when he was more interested in wandering around the room with a flashlight.

Then again, he's 16 months old. If he doesn't care about Hermey the Elf...er...Dentist and Cindy Lou Who when he's 5 or 6, then he'll really break my heart.

It all has me realizing, though, what a special Christmas this should be for us. Everyone makes such a big deal about "baby's first Christmas," but, seriously, he was 5 months old last year.

Unless they are January babies, kids can't really appreciate their first Christmas. It's a lot of bright lights and happy tunes, but it's lost on them.

But this year, I think we'll get a full dose of the joy and wonder the holiday season brings to a little child. He'll really start to get it, and I can't wait.

Last year was exciting for us. This year will be exciting for him.

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Jared Jernagan
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Jared Jernagan is a 2003 graduate of Wabash College and has been in journalism since 2005.
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