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Skaggs: Maybe Santa brought you an adult-sized toy tractor?
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It’s finally here — Christmas! I hope each of you is having a great Christmas Day filled with fun, food, family and fellowship.

If all goes as planned, we’ll certainly being doing so at the Skaggs house. And having two children under the age of 10, my wife and I have been awake for quite some time — if tradition holds, they’ve been up since 6 a.m.!
Instead of telling you to recycle your Christmas tree or encouraging you to start a compost pile with your holiday leftovers, I thought I’d do something a little different in today’s column. This is a Christmas wish list of gardening/farming items if price were no object! (I did say this was a wish list.)

You may ask, “why provide such a list on Christmas Day? It’s now too late for anyone to act on it.” And that is precisely the point! I really don’t need any of this stuff. I just thought it would be fun (and make for a fun column) to do it. Here goes — my gardening wish list:

1. A tractor. Yes, tractors are somewhat common and many farmers have them. But farmers don’t live on a 3/4-acre residential lot! I don’t need a tractor, but boy do I want one. The preferred color is green, and it should include all the attachments: bucket loader on the front, PTO takeoff with tiller, auger, fence post driver, etc. And, no I don’t need a fence post driver, but I’ve driven enough steel fence posts by hand to know that I never want to do it again. I could go on, but you get the idea.

2. A farm utility vehicle. Again, I don’t need one of these either. But if you have one, you know how great these things are. They have names like Gator, Mule, RTV and Big Red. At first glance, the novice might say something like, “Oh, that’s a nice golf cart” or “Well, isn’t that cute.” Let me tell you these things are not cute — they’re the best thing since sliced bread if you have a farm or large property to traverse. You can herd cattle, forge a creek, haul lumber or soil and just about anything else.

3. A complete set of Felco hand tools. Now this one isn’t as exciting as the previous two items, but gardeners know the importance of good hand pruners and it doesn’t get any better than Felco. They make different models of pruners, loppers and saws. In skimming over the Web site, I counted 15 different hand pruners, 17 loppers and three pruning saws. I love pruning, and with these babies, my yard could quickly become a topiary heaven.

4. A skybox suite at the Independence Bowl on December 28th to watch the Georgia Bulldogs beat up on Texas A&M. No, this isn’t a gardening item, but what good University of Georgia county agent wouldn’t want to be in Shreveport, La., to cheer on the Dawgs? After the Tech win, the Bulldog nation is looking for more.

Now to the point — yes, I’d like to have all this stuff. It would be great fun. However, it’s all just stuff. Stuff that I can (and likely will) live without. This Christmas Day, enjoy your stuff, but remember it’s not just about stuff. Christmas is a celebration of the greatest gift God ever gave man. It’s about giving to others and being thankful for all you have. Take a few minutes today and tell those around you how thankful you are for them. Merry Christmas!

Billy Skaggs is an agricultural agent and Hall County extension coordinator. Phone: 770-531-6988. Fax: 770-531-3994.

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