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Sending a Christmas card:  “Even if the recipient never reciprocates, or tosses it in the trash with nary a glance, the act of sending it helps make me more human.” – Cheryl Magness, Reporter Online

So, is this the year we send a Christmas card to cousin Kevin?

My question, directed at the One Who Keeps the List, brought only a dismissive shake of her head, as if to say, “Are you kidding?”

You know how it is with Christmas card lists. They have a way of growing over time. For some on the list, it’s the only communication the entire year. It’s not as though you exchange phone calls on a regular basis or even emails. And yet, there it is, “the list.”

Cousin Kevin, however, has presented a special problem.

“Well,” I said somewhat defensively, reflecting on my long relationship with Kevin, as in Kevin McHale, legendary power forward for the Boston Celtics in the 1980s when they won three national championships. “It’s not as though I’ve tried to trade on our kinship.”

Another shake of my wife’s head, this time accompanied by a dramatic rolling of the eyes.

Well done, I thought to myself.

There are some who have questioned my continued basking in the reflected glow of an NBA superstar, particularly since he is not even a “first cousin.”  OK, he’s not a second cousin, either. Let me see if I can get this right. Kevin is the husband of Lynn, who is the sister of my wife’s cousin’s husband.

And actually, I haven’t seen Kev since a family funeral 12 years ago, our only contact.

Still, I feel a special affinity, as you can imagine. For example, we both like basketball. And he does share a birthday with my late mother – Dec. 19. He turns 60 next week. I should send him a birthday card.

This somewhat dubious relationship I have with Kevin is similar to that of another famous person, though his fame is tied to both athletics and politics.

Former Gov. Frank Farrar, who is known nearly as much for his “Iron Man” competition as for serving as governor of South Dakota, also is a relative.  This revelation became known to me at a recent family reunion when I was visiting with the husband of another of my wife’s cousins. Turns out his father and the governor’s late wife were siblings. I know, the connection seems to be a bit of a stretch, doesn’t it?  But again, can I help it if I have famous relatives?

Since I have long admired Farrar and his late wife, I wonder if I should lobby to have him added to this year’s list, too.

On second thought . . .

Dec. 13, 2017