Welcome visitors!

Thank you for visiting our Christmas Service Blog. We welcome comments from visitors.
We would love to hear if you decide to implement this idea in your family.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Michael Hock. AKA Hock. Not H..a..w..k. Hawk would be cool. H..o..c..k. Guess that could be cool too because HOCKEY starts with H..o..c..k. Not as cool but still pretty good. Have to get into his head. Need to be Hock. Need to channel my inner metrosexual. “How does my hair look? I am speed. “

Ok, first idea to channel my inner Hock. Play video games. Seriously? For those that don’t know, Hock’s first introduction to the Gates clan by Lani went something like this, “This is my new boyfriend, we almost broke up because he slept through church because he was up too late playing video games.” So I thought, what can I do with video games. This actually turned out great and I want to thank Hock for the inspiration. I started playing Clash of Clans with Connor so that I could understand his love for the game. I have enjoyed talking to my son about different levels, characters, defenses and tactics. So it wasn’t really service, that’s ok. I have 40000 gold coins that I can spend on upgrading my defenses. Good job Mike.


Back into Hock’s head. “Do these jeans look tight on me? I am the sexiest man alive.” Some of you don’t know it but Hock is a Vet. Yep, served in the Gulf War. Just ask Lani. She tells people at the DMV that her husband was in the Airforce. Ok, don’t go thanking him next Veterans Day. He didn’t really serve. But that didn’t stop Lani from talking about her 3 star general to random strangers. True story. You will need to ask her about it. So I thought, how can I serve a veteran? Lo and behold, we have a real veteran living with us. I decided to serve him by taking him out for a meal on Veterans Day. My wife and I confirmed that Grandpa would like to go to Olive Garden. Not 5 minutes later, out of nowhere, we get a message from Bill that says Olive Garden is offering free meals to veterans on Veterans Day. It was a Christmas miracle. I still count it as service even though I didn’t pay for his meal.

Back into Hock’s head. “Man, I feel old. Must be because I am a vet. Hey hold on, I am still sexy.” Not sure how many of you know but Hock has an extremely rare genetic disease called progeria. Go ahead, look it up. People with this disorder age quicker than normal. This has hit Hock hard, a 30 year old man in a 75 year old body. It really registered with him how bad it was when he lost to Ed Gates and myself, back to back, in one on one basketball. And he hasn’t beat us since. He suffers from a bad back, aching muscles and arthritis of everything. So, getting in Hock’s head, I thought, I can help a senior citizen. Kids are Music recently performed at a senior center. I volunteered to help with set up and take down. Although I was somewhat late on the front and back end, Bill graciously said he would count it as service.

Back into Hock’s head. “What did I say in that last paragraph? I can’t remember things anymore. Am I still sexy? Lani?” Everyone knows that the one advantage to growing old is that age brings wisdom. Behold, another Christmas miracle. A volunteer opportunity came up for parts in the local LDS Nativity pageant.  With few parts left, they were still looking for a rather tall, rugged, handsome man to play a Wiseman. I channeled Hock. I did my best “blue steel” look and jumped at the opportunity to show off my acting chops. “I feel old, I can be wise.” Unfortunately, a couple of missionaries volunteered as well and they couldn’t have a missionary hanging out with Mary so they made me Joseph instead. Oh well, I was still inspired by Hock.

And he is an inspiration. He is a great father. He is a loving, caring husband and I have learned to be a better man through watching his example. He has a strong work ethic and will do great things in his new role. Thanks Hock.

On another note.  I wanted to thank someone else for their service. I spoke about this person recently in a church meeting because she is a shining example of Christ-like love. She helps organize this service gift exchange every year so I figured this would be a good opportunity to say thank you. Ever since I married into the Gates family, I have seen her give and give again. She is selfless and is always looking for ways to assist others.  I know she has been an angel to those in need many times in the last several months. I wanted to thank Carrie Collins for her example to me.


  1. Most of the posts bring tears to my eyes as I read, but Mike's always makes me laugh so hard. You finally got some teary eyes out of me with the last paragraph. Way to go! We love Carrie!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.


  3. After the beautiful Ode to Mike McBride that chuck wrote, this is what Mike wrote? The good news is that I know and love Mike enough to know... The more he loves you- the more he is going to,tease you!...and boy does he love Hock ;) ....just to clarify... We did break up over the video games but it was because he was busy winning heisman trophies...not collecting gold coins!

  4. This is hilarious! I don't know you well Mike, but you are a hoot and a half, and a gifted writer to boot!

  5. I am dying.....hilarious. It's a miracle that Lani and Hock ended up together after the video game debacle....good thing Lani knows how to forgive, since He's the perfect match for her.

  6. Mike... I wish you could play golf as well as you write. We all thought you should write a book. Between your comments and Chuck's epistle, we realize we have two great authors. Thanks for the Carrie comment. She has been an angel to all of us. Love Dad (and Mom)