It's that time of year when most everyone has a list and they're checking it twice.
One hip trend that's been started by avocado toast-eating millennials is not to give material gifts, but to give experiences. Instead of giving a radio for Christmas, give concert tickets to Ozzy Osbourne. The concert will be far more memorable than the radio, or so the logic goes.
I guess you could say I'm a little old school because I still like stuff. Don't give me a trip to Vegas. I'll take the $1 million jackpot instead.
Outside of Christmas gifts, there are always things I can wish for that will make Warren County a more welcoming place to call home. Here are a few.
• I wish Warren County could play in a football district that doesn't include Oakland, Blackman and the other powerhouse schools we have no chance of beating.
The reason so many people are attracted to sports is the competition aspect. Playing games that aren't competitive, where the outcome is already known before the opening kickoff, makes no sense.
• I wish the county would build a bigger jail.
I realize no one wants to pay $6.5 million for a larger jail, and that doesn't even include the daily cost to house inmates once it's built. But this new-found philosophy of letting most everyone get out of jail is going to bite us in the throat very soon.
There are some people who break the law, repeatedly break the law. They need to be behind bars, not breaking into my car.
• I don't know about building a wall, but I'd like to build a deck in my backyard and get Mexico to pay for it.
• I wish the city would build an amphitheater at Pepper Branch Park.
I realize the city of McMinnville will soon be swimming in debt with up to $10 million earmarked for an expansion and upgrade at the Civic Center. In addition to that, there are cries for an indoor pool, which is not included in that $10 million project.
Discretionary income may be slim in the city, but there's no time like the present to develop a long-range plan that includes an amphitheater. One has been discussed off an on for more than a decade.
The city of Nashville spent $50 million to build what's now named Ascend Amphitheater on the bank of the Cumberland River. Numbers show the facility produced $883,950 in tax revenue from ticket sales and concessions in its first year. That does not include revenue funneled to restaurants, hotels, gas stations, and nearby retail stores.
An amphitheater, on a much smaller scale, would be a nice fit for McMinnville, especially in this day when capturing tourism dollars is a top priority.
• Last but certainly not least, I wish the city of McMinnville would get a community-wide round of applause for its downtown Christmas light display. To use a word that's popular over the holidays, this light display is divine.
Standard editor James Clark can be reached at 473-2191.