By R. Christopher Haines, President and CEO

Ho, Ho, Ho. Here we are. Christmas time again. I really enjoy this time of year, but it goes so fast. Seems like we almost jump from Thanksgiving right to the gray, cold days of January.

I’m more than likely the most difficult person to buy gifts for. Everyone around me tells me that, and I’m not going to argue with them. I’m just at a point in life where I don’t need any more stuff. A couple years ago, I had my wife buy me something I thought I would love to have; and it’s still in the box. That’s the only sign I really need. So, I just stick to the essentials – socks and underwear.

But here are a few things I can guarantee I don’t want if you’re thinking of surprising me with a gift:

  • The Golden Girls Chia Pet – Seriously? Of all the times to be alive, I have to be on this Earth at the same time that someone thought what the world was really missing was a Chia Pet of the ladies of Golden Girls. Oh boy.
  • The Darth Vader Clapper – Clap On! Clap Off! Forget it! Again – seriously? If the commercial of the world record holder for clapping isn’t bad enough, they have to ruin the greatest movie franchise of all time with a Clapper?
  • A DNA/ancestry kit – anyone who really knows me knows I’m probably a little off. We don’t really need to know how that happened.
  • A weighted blanket – Yes, this is a thing. Someone believes sleeping with more weight on you relieves stress and helps you sleep better. If the weight of being alive wasn’t heavy enough, let’s fill a comforter full of rolls of nickels and see if we can squeeze the life right out of you. Sounds awesome.

But in all seriousness, I hope each of you had a great 2019. It was a very eventful and eye-opening year for me, and I hope 2020 is a little calmer. Overall I shouldn’t complain because I am blessed to have the family, friends, co-workers, and business associates I do. I am a very lucky person.

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to you all. Best wishes for great 2020.