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The pandemic made Christmas shopping hard this season, and a couple of gifts ordered over the internet still haven't arrived. The delivery date of one has changed from Dec. 19 to Jan. 28, and of course it was Monica's major gift.

She's being really good about it, although it did send me into a small spending flurry so she would have presents under the tree. Whitney and Katie were easy. A drive through the bank took care of them.

We are actually breaking Christmas down into three sessions because of the virus.

On Christmas Eve, eight of us shared Petit Jean ham and biscuits, then exchanged presents.

This morning is Christmas, and Santa will have visited our house for grandson Fisher and his family. Stepson Patrick will get his presents when he wakes up, but no one knows when that will be.

Despite everything going on -- and with me primarily under house arrest thanks to the virus -- there was plenty of time to make this year's Christmas wish list.

For University of Arkansas Athletic Director Hunter Yurachek -- who like most ADs is facing some difficult financial times -- a quiet day with his family and a nice bottle of Presqu'ile wine.

For Sam Pittman -- who the state seems to love more every day -- a resounding victory over TCU, three more recruits and a pair from the transfer portal.

For Eric Musselman -- who is developing chemistry daily with the basketball Hogs -- a day when two of the main people in his life, his wife and daughter, get an old-fashioned Christmas filled with love and laughter.

For Terry Mohajir -- who seems to have made yet another great football hire at Arkansas State in Butch Jones -- a successful basketball season.

For Darrell Walker and Joe Foley and all of UALR, less covid-19 issues and more wins.

For Chris Peterson at UAPB, continued growth and development.

For Brad Teague at Central Arkansas, a conference football schedule next fall so he's not having to play magician every week to get a game.

For Tommy Smith, David Bazzel and Roger Scott and all the folks at 103.7-FM, The Buzz, another year of entertainment and great ratings.

On a personal level, continued virtual growth at Pinnacle Church of Christ under the leadership of Chuck Monan and John Phillips.

For my longtime friends Donald McDonald, Jerry Webster, Ed Daniel and Sandy Stroop, a Thursday get-together that includes covid-19 shots. The brand doesn't matter.

For Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort, a season with fans, even if limited.

For Frank Fletcher, may he have the winner of the Arkansas Derby. He has a great filly in training, but in the Breeders' Cup the horse got slammed on both sides at the same time. She didn't win, but Frank's Rockette didn't quit, either.

For the sports staff members who have found working remotely difficult and challenging, a resounding job well done. For more than nine months, there has been no drop-off in sports coverage.

For the Hussman family, continued success with the iPad initiative. It took yours truly one day to realize how much easier it is to read the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on the device.

For Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin, the power to get Central Arkansas veterans what Fayetteville vets are getting: vaccines.

There are so many more who need to be mentioned, but it is time to close with a final thought.

This has been a hard year for the majority of the world, but we have come together in harmony and with a common goal to beat covid-19. May it happen sooner rather than later.

Merry Christmas.


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