Christmas Reflections by Mike Reader

Time through the Hands of the Young of Yesteryear

To me, and many others of my generation, the notion that time goes by more quickly the older we get, is actually becoming a reality.

When we were young, there seemed to be an eternity from one Christmas to the next. Remember when you were “five and a quarter” or “six and a half?” Looking back, I have fond memories of waiting for the Sears and the JC Penney Christmas catalogs to arrive—by U.S. Postal Service—sometime in early September. Plenty of time to dream about Christmas presents…   My sisters and I would flip through every page, front to back, looking for the latest in toys, so we could show our parents and put them on our Christmas lists.

Ticktock, ticktock, ticktock…
How quickly time passes…

For you, younger folks out there, that was in the time of rotary dial telephones, and maybe five channels on the TV…the time when birds had exclusive rights to “tweeting,” “Amazon” was just a long river in South America, and we could play and “tag” with our “friends” who were physically a few feet away from us.

These much simpler times made for a heck of a lot less stress…although that could have been the result of someone else being responsible for the household and paying of the bills.

Wouldn’t it be fun to go back to those times and enjoy that kind of pace?

Time Slipping through the Hands of Our Present

Where did the year go?

As I look back at 2015 to review lessons learned, I feel somewhat disappointed about the “things I wanted to do, but didn’t have enough time for.” These days, responsibility subdivides into a million categories that fill our entire days, and often linger into the night hours.

News of senseless, crazy violence is continuously knocking for attention adding anxiety, questions and stress to our already filled existence. Hostility around the globe, people oppressing or killing innocent people just for control, and a U.S. election cycle that seems never-ending, and plagued with emotional attacks rather than with intelligent debate…

Where have the simple things like common sense, human decency toward one another, and rational people coming to rational agreements gone?

Time through the Hands of the Young in the Present

Time for the young ones today, passes just as slow as it did for us, when we were their age. The “list” still features those coveted toys, except that the catalogs are now online, and the old “flipping” has turned into the new “scrolling.” Waiting for Christmas to arrive, however, is just as agonizing for them.

Today, many children are blessed to live in stable situations and are bound to see many of the items they wished for under their tree on Christmas Day. However, just as many kids will only have the list…but no tree or a Santa to fulfill their wishes, and often, not even a meal to eat.

Why is it that in this time of abundance, people around the world still go hungry?

Time for the Angel Tree and Bringing Smiles to the Young

Just like everywhere else in the world, in our community, there are those who will see Christmas presents under their trees, but there are those who may not. For the third consecutive year, Precision Plus has partnered with the Elkhorn Area School District to bring Christmas to needy families, having the pleasure of becoming “Secret Santas.” It’s such a great feeling to give rather than to receive!

The Angel Tree initiative has been spearheaded by our Director of Quality and Continuous Improvement Dale Wittlieff, who has been truly passionate about this project and is directly responsible for its great success. This year, we are making Christmas lists come true for four area families in need. Mary Ellen Wright, Social Worker for the Elkhorn Area School District, coordinates this opportunity, which matches families’ lists with eager and ready-to-please Precision Plus’ Secret Santas.


The families are asked to write their Christmas wishes on paper ornaments, which then Mary Ellen brings to us. PPI employees go shopping and fulfill their wishes, wrap the presents, and place them under the Angel Tree. Once all the wishes are fulfilled, Mary Ellen Wright picks up the packages to later distribute to the families to put under their own Christmas trees. PPI employees also bring non-perishable items for them.

Making the Best of the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Depending on your stage in life, time might be abundant…or it may be elusive. However, the truth is your time is yours, and that you can assign it to whatever you want and adjust the speed.

I’m personally voting for a kinder time: Treat your neighbors the way you’d like to be treated; ask yourself, “What simple acts of kindness can I perform that will improve the outlook of those around me?” Kindness, like hatred, can be contagious. Why not set it free and share it?

A Time for Change

So, young and young at heart, what can we do to improve our seemingly doomed outlook?   Maybe the answers is to get back to the basics of human decency—something that could only be achieved by our own actions. It’s not what’s under the tree that matters…it’s what we do with our time that does.

Let’s think back to the simpler times when we were young, and how the world seemed so much more forgiving; let’s take this time to value our past, respect our present, and expect a better future yet for everyone.  We all have the opportunity to influence others’ emotional wellbeing. All we have to do is take the first step.

Wishing You a Meaningful Holiday Time,


Mike Reader, President
Precision Plus