Christmas is an odd time for the cynical.
For me, I find there are two sides of me this time of year. There's the 9-year-old boy and the 32-year old man.
The 9-year old boy believes in magic. He can't sleep Christmas Eve because the next morning means presents.
The man stopped believing in magic; he only believes in curses. He can't sleep Christmas Eve because he's a night owl. And he's frustrated there's nothing good on television.
The 9-year-old boy believes his Cleveland Browns will win the Super Bowl. They just won the AFC Central for the third time in four years.
The man recognizes his Browns haven't won a division in the 23 years since.
The boy never gets tired of talking football games, baseball simulators and sports video games in which he hones his play-by-play skills.
The man is upset he can't find those games anymore. He thinks they got lost when his parents moved.
The boy loves "Miracle on 34th Street." His favorite line is "Christmas isn't a day; it's a state of mind."
The man finds "Miracle on 34th Street" amusing, though at times a little quaint. Now, his favorite scene in the movie is when the political adviser tells the judge that if he rules against Santa Claus, "You can count on getting only two votes. Your own, and that district attorney out there."
The judge deadpans: "The district attorney's a Republican." God, I love that line.
The boy loves Bing Crosby's voice and his holiday albums.
The man can appreciate Crosby's talent, but the allegations of how he treated his kids make it hard to enjoy sometimes.
The boy adores the Cavaliers. His favorite player is Craig Ehlo.
The man knows you should never put Ehlo on Michael Jordan. And he wonders why his team never upgraded on Ehlo.
The boy sings Christmas carols and gets a kick out of "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer."
The man prefers to listen to classic rock and the NFL station on XM radio. The story of Rudolph frustrates him now; a deer with an abnormality is mocked. Then, when the bullies find they can use his abnormality to their benefit, they are nice to him. Is that hollow or what?
The boy loves a white Christmas. The more snow the better.
The man thinks a white Christmas is beautiful. He just never wants to drive in it.
The boy believes Christmas is a wonderful day, with many more wonderful days to come.
The man is thankful for his many blessings. He has learned to cherish time, because nothing lasts forever.
Maybe I'm smarter now than I was when I was 9. But sometimes I wish I still was the 9-year old boy. The one who believes, who sees the good, who is not cynical.
To all those reading this column, I hope we can all put aside our cynicism for a few days. Watch the old movies. Listen to old stories. Have faith that a Cleveland team (or Detroit, or Cincinnati) may one day soon win a championship.
Don't hide from carolers.
But to any kids who may be reading, know this: It is true that nothing lasts forever, and nothing is guaranteed. Enjoy the day, enjoy the season, enjoy your family.
Christmas is a time for many things. Enjoy them.