The Duncan Banner

Opinion

December 22, 2013

Christmas ‘double-dippers’ deserve some sympathy

DUNCAN — It wasn’t that I didn’t like Hank Helms — heck, I liked him a lot. We became pals in Miss Kitchen’s fifth-grade class at Lincoln School, where Hank was given the really cool nickname “Double H.” We were buds until Helms moved from my rural Illinois hometown during high school.

Hank was a bright guy, a funny guy; liked baseball and basketball, was really into scouting. In grade school, he amazed us with two fabulous tricks: First, he could spin three hula hoops at once, from his armpits down to his hips; and second, Double H was double-jointed. When things got boring in class, the grotesque maneuvers Hank could do with his thumbs kept us amazed and in stitches.

Everybody liked Double H. At least, for 51 weeks out of the year, everybody liked him.

But during the week leading up to Christmas, even Hank Helms’ closest buds had a hard time being nice to him. See, ol’ double-jointed Double H was a holiday double-dipper — his birthday was on Christmas Day.

If you were 10 or 11 years old, this was exceedingly UNFAIR! As we envisioned it: While the rest of us hoped Santa would bring a few of the toys and junk we’d begged for, Double H’s chances for a great haul at Christmas were twice as good. If he didn’t get something from Santa, he’d get it as a birthday gift the same day.

Visions of Hank Helms spending the entire day opening Christmas and birthday presents danced in our heads, and it made you want to ping him with a slush ball. I mean, how did this guy get so lucky? What a gyp!

Well, Chris West says those of us who envy the Christmas/birthday double-dippers have got this thing all wrong. According to the former DJ at KKEN radio: The rest of us may resent them, but Christmas Day babies are among the most misunderstood, downtrodden chill’un on the planet.

Even though a birthday on December 25th may seem like a double-dip straight from Heaven, West says it’s a terrible burden some kids just have to bear.

“People think being a Christmas Day baby is special, but it really isn’t,” West said, his voice cracking as he struggled to describe the emotional stress felt by double-dippers. “It’s not as cool as people think, because you don’t get to celebrate your birthday like other kids.”

West said the enormity of Christmas completely overshadows the fact it’s also your birthday, and that many Christmas Day babies spend the rest of their lives in therapy, attending meetings of Christmas Babies Anonymous in an attempt to build self-respect. (OK, he didn’t say the part about counseling, but it sounds dramatic, eh?)

Being a Christmas baby can really be a drag, West said, “because when you’re a kid, you can’t have a birthday party — you can’t get any other kids to come. It’s Christmas, and they don’t care if it’s your birthday, they’re just worried about what they’re getting for Christmas.

“And you don’t really get birthday cards, because people have already sent out Christmas cards and they don’t think about birthday cards. For years, my Mom gave me a card that says ‘Happy Birthday’ and ‘Merry Christmas,’ but now she says those cards have gone out of print.

“When you get a present, you don’t know if it’s for your birthday, or whether it was really a Christmas present they just stuck ‘Happy Birthday’ on. Other kids get a special day during the year when it’s their birthday, but not Christmas babies.

“And when you grow up and are working, you can’t get your birthday off from work, because you’re always off on Christmas anyway. So, that cuts you out of an extra day of vacation.

“No, it’s not easy being a Christmas Day baby.”

Brothers and sisters, as West came to the end of his tale of woe, I was feeling like Scrooge. I could hardly hold back the tears. Like many of you, I’d held a grudge against Christmas double-dippers for so long it blinded me to the plight of this suffering minority.

I just didn’t realize that when Double H acted so excited about double-dipping, he was really crying inside all the time. If I knew where Hank Helms was these days, I’d give him a buzz and apologize for being so selfish and callous years ago.

So, to Double H, Chris West and all the other Christmas Day double-dippers, just let me say: Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas — and sorry about the slush balls!

jeff.kaley@duncabanner.com

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Governor, state Legislature have misplaced priorities

    If the Oklahoma State Legislators and our Governor spent less time interfering in women’s rights to manage their bodies, creating ways to lay more taxes and fees on the middle class in order to generate more tax breaks which benefit only the wealthy while also conceiving methods with which to fill Oklahoma’s for-profit prisons, they would be doing all of us a favor. Instead, why not work to enhance funding for our schools and wage increases for all school employees? While reforming the state’s educational budget, why don’t they approve wage increases for our Oklahoma State Troopers and enlarge their Academy to insure qualified individuals are ready to fill the upcoming vacancies as many of the older force retire?

    April 9, 2014

  • Self government key to keeping politicians in check

    Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that federal campaign laws that limit the total amount of money donors can give to political parties, committees and candidates for federal office (U.S. House, Senate, and President) was unconstitutional. The ruling will not increase the current $2,600 limit on how much a donor can give to a federal candidate in each primary and general election or the $32,400 limit that can go to a national party committee. Those limits are still in place.  The ruling will instead remove the limit on how many candidates/committees to which a donor can contribute.

    April 9, 2014

  • Legislative goals crucial to priorities in education

    I am a member of several professional organizations where I attend regular meetings, network with colleagues, and stay abreast and informed on education best practices.  The Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration, better known as CCOSA, is a nonprofit organization that establishes close and continuous communication and cooperation between educators, taxpayers, and legislators to improve the effectiveness of professional school administrators and to communicate the needs of schools. Attendance this time of year is especially critical because legislators are in session.

    March 28, 2014

  • An impressive ranking that could be better

    That Duncan was named one of the best 15 communities in Oklahoma by Movoto, a national Real Estate company, is news worth celebrating.
    Of 43 places with population of 10,000 or more, as determined by the U.S. Census data, Duncan finished 15th. Norman was first, Edmond second, Yukon and Moore tied for third and Bethany was fifth.

    March 9, 2014

  • Kids shouldn’t have to pay for having punster parents

    Friends and neighbors, I’ve been cloistered in my Thought Chamber for the past few days, contemplating many high-brow philosophies and haughty hypothesis that we who think on a different level use to exercise our finely-tuned minds and remain intellectually superior to the Great Unwashed.
    As you see, the time alone has been intellectually beneficial. I just composed an opening sentence (what we in the journalism dodge call a “lead”) that’s 46 words long.

    March 9, 2014

  • The blissful serenity of No-TV Land

    Life without TV is possible. Maybe you should try it. I did. It’s a do-able thing, I tell you. I’m still here, no worse the wear, no oozing wounds, no serious loss of brainwave activity except for the slow, inexorable downhill decline that already started when TV viewing was a daily occurrence.

    Granted, two months without the tube is quite likely not a scientifically acceptable sample from which is to hold forth. But it’s the best I can do, so deal with it.

    March 9, 2014

  • Cooper’s message is to remain active

    Dr. Kenneth Cooper, the Dallas physician who coined the phrase “aerobics” more than four decades ago, who has become a world leader in physical fitness and who has saved, literally, thousands of lives by promoting the value of an active lifestyle, shared his philosophy of life here last week.

    March 9, 2014

  • Time to take the “B” out of the “Three R’s”

    Our young folks are hitting the stretch drive toward the end of another school year, during which they’ve been taught “Three R’s”, which are not really “r’s” at all.
    In case you missed it, reading is the only one of the “Three R’s” that actually begins with the letter “r.” Writing starts with a “w” and arithmetic begins with the letter “a.” There are two reasons we drop the “w” from “writing” and the “a” from “arithmetic”: 1. For poetic flow in the age-old saying; and, 2. many people have a secret yen to talk like the Beverly Hillbillies.

    February 23, 2014

  • Thank you for lettin’ me be myself again

    Friends and neighbors, hope I don’t sound like the biggest egomaniac since Donald Trump, but you know, I am the most interesting person I’ve ever known.
    Forgive me if — on first blush — that sounds like the most totally self-aggrandizing statement you’ve ever heard. And if you’ve headed to the restroom to express an editorial opinion about the statement above, I’ll stop for a couple minutes.

    February 15, 2014

  • Buzz misfired in Vanity Fair body slam of Duncan

    As the new kid in town, I’m reluctant to leap atop the ramparts to defend the honor of Duncan, Okla., my new adopted hometown.
    But to heck with that. When an out-of-towner comes into your house and soils your rug, it’s on.
    I speak, of course, about the article in Vanity Fair magazine about Duncan and the  killing last year of Chris Lane, the Australian who was gunned down in August.

    January 24, 2014