Saturday, December 6, 2014

'Tis the season

For years and years, I've been the one that was the biggest pain to shop for. Particular and fussy about exactly what I wanted. I'm no longer the sole holder of that position. The Better Half gets a pass, but the Son Person, The Daughter Person and The Son-in-Law person all have wishes the fulfillment of which means I'm the one experiencing pain equal to or exceeding the degree of pain that I've created for others at past Christmas present shopping times. This is not about the amount of money being spent. This is about the challenge of trying to find exactly what someone wants when they haven't provided a link to the on-line site that has it in stock and can and will ship in time for Christmas (and birthday) delivery. And providing links means our only engagement with wish fulfillment is spending money, not figuring our what was meant by the sometimes cryptic or abbreviated descriptions in Christmas letters. You know, if a letter to Santa says "I want a pony," does Santa have to be concerned about the color or gender of the pony, or whether the saddle is brown or black? Santa just knows these things. Most of the rest of us, or at least I, don't.

a Christmas star to follow
a Christmas star to follow
Photo by J. Harrington

Thanks for letting me vent. It's a short posting today because the Daughter Person's birthday dinner starts soon. The crowds and the parking lots weren't too bad this afternoon, and the weather was decent. The issue seems to be that most of us in my family don't tend to put the latest and greatest, most popular items (Tickle Me Elmo anyone?) on our lists. Those presents come with their own challenges. I suppose one way to look at it is that proof of how much we love our family and friends isn't measured by how much we spend but by how hard we work to get just the right present. All of this exercise, mental, physical and emotional, could cause us to emulate the (reformed) Grinch and have our hearts grow three sizes too big. That's part of what we celebrate this season, right?

the first Christmas
the first Christmas
Photo by J. Harrington

Sonnet in the Shape of a Potted Christmas Tree

By George Starbuck
*
O
fury-
bedecked!
O glitter-torn!
Let the wild wind erect
bonbonbonanzas; junipers affect
frostyfreeze turbans; iciclestuff adorn
all cuckolded creation in a madcap crown of horn!
It’s a new day; no scapegrace of a sect
tidying up the ashtrays playing Daughter-in-Law Elect;
bells! bibelots! popsicle cigars! shatter the glassware! a son born
now
now
while ox and ass and infant lie
together as poor creatures will
and tears of her exertion still
cling in the spent girl’s eye
and a great firework in the sky
drifts to the western hill.


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