Merry Christmas, Gerard!

Posted by Andy at December 25, 2009 8:33 AM

In so many ways, Christmas is a celebration of the triumph of Quality over quantity. You might say that Quality became quantity so that quantity might become quality.

Posted by Gagdad Bob at December 25, 2009 8:47 AM

Simple gifts indeed. For whatever reason Christmas is the dam where sadness pools and makes it very difficult to experience happiness; the pain and sorrow of others' lives (not disappointment in quantity but the quality concept you and others have discussed) and the bitterness and emptiness that causes them to be angry, resentful, and selfish just overwhelms me for a time. Better now that the "Simple Gifts" melody and lyric have been played, and better that the burled wood box has been visited. Perspective is all important and your post helped me regain some of mine.
Nice to see that Gagdad has broken the surface as well. Merry Christmas to everyone.

Posted by Dan Patterson at December 25, 2009 9:10 AM

Thanks, Gerard, for sharing this simple gift - or rather, this precious treasure - with us. I hope your Christmas this year is filled with such gifts of the hand and heart.

Posted by Julie at December 25, 2009 11:29 AM

A thoughtful and brilliantly written post.
Merry Christmas to you and yours.
May you all also have those "unsubstantial" treasures.

Posted by Cheezburgrrr at December 25, 2009 6:50 PM

'Tis the Winter of our discontent, let there be no doubt.

Yet in good faith and as surely as the Earth turns, Spring will return again.

It is a hard thing to keep your heart warm when the world around you appears to be turning so cold, but that is what Faith is for.

Keep the faith, Merry Christmas!

Posted by David at December 25, 2009 7:26 PM

Wow. I have a picture like that at the beginning of this post— but it's from my church's foyer, where the Giving Tree collection was gathered. (I didn't even get a *chance* at a tag this year— they were all gone!)

I love giving more than receiving, simply because picking out a perfect gift is a lot of fun, but when people ask me what I want I tend to go blank. This year I did okay with the nieces but I hit a home run with my nephew, to whom I gave a telescope that was all of $10. (He's almost five.)

I am still astonished at the amount of stuff we ended up with. Part of that is the fallout from being part of a large family group. But for some reason, I expected to go to the family gathering with all of my gifts and come home with less. Vain hope.

Posted by B. Durbin at December 25, 2009 8:55 PM

Let us all give thanks to Gerard, our Poet Lariat.
He continually lassos the light allowing us all to see more clearly what is most important.

And for all,
"Remember love,
remember laughter.
Remember them now,
and forever after."

Posted by FamouslyUnknown at December 26, 2009 12:55 PM

Merry Christmas, Gerard; and Glad Tidings to you and yours!

I was at my little brother's in N.C. For Christmas me and my brother (the major) put on gray suits, white shirts, and ties. I brought my suit and he matched it - I think some things require a proper reception.

Another family was there with their little ones, and another friend whose husband was in Baghdad (he called, and we wished him a Merry Christmas).

Good food was cooked; wine bottles were un-corked; beer was poured; whiskey found its home.

And little children ravaged colorful paper, and found the little treasures the paper shielded.

Much joy occured (according to the report).

But I heard the best today, a couple of hours ago. Today I got up at 4 a.m. to go from North Carolina back to Michigan. When I got home I e-mailed my little brother to say "I got back".

He returned "Allison (the almost 2 year old) was searching the guest room looking for you."

The Bumblebee is fond enough of me to look for me.

God, I am rich.

Posted by Mikey NTH at December 26, 2009 5:47 PM

Merry Christmas, Gerard!

Posted by Obi's Sister at December 27, 2009 3:24 PM

A Happy Christmas to you Gerard. This is a lovely story. I missed it the first time. I like when you regift your presents to us. They get better with every reading.

Posted by Jewel at December 21, 2011 12:29 AM

Wonderful. Thank you. Merry Christmas!

Posted by Hanover at December 21, 2011 6:56 AM

Anyone I know?

Posted by flannelputz at December 21, 2011 10:01 AM

And..., just look how far we've come since you first penned it.

Posted by BillH at December 23, 2012 8:30 AM

My favorite thing about Christmas is the whole family gathering together, cooking and preparing, singing, playing games, oohing & aahing and laughter, then cleaning up after and still tittering. The presents and the tree are just an excuse to be with the people we love.

Thank You, Gerard

Posted by Tim at December 23, 2012 10:20 AM

It was 1957. We had just moved to California from the East Cost. We were happy but things hadn't gone well and Christmas wasn't going to be as bounteous that year. The week before one of the delights of our new home, a Santa Ana Wind, came up and with it came the tumbleweeds. My dad went out to the street and snagged one as it went by. He put it in the corner of our small living room then my mother adorned it with a single string of tiny blue lights and covered it with angel hair.

I sit here and my mind drifts to remebrances of Christmas past. I picture that holy blue radiance and I am fulfilled.

Posted by Roy Lofquist at December 23, 2012 10:59 AM

There is a difference between a possession and loot.

A possession requires a place in your life. It requires some maintenance and a useful purpose - albeit a tool, a work of art, or even a container for a memory. But a possession requires possessing which means time spent out of your day or week or month.

Too many possessions and the place is disorderly and its purposes are tarnished. Especially if you can't find the possession or other things for that matter.

Thus it also takes some possession of its owner.

Loot... is well... loot. You use it. Use it up and discard it. If its in the way, you discard it. If it gets broken, so what? Discard it. Teh value of loot is obviously a lot less than a possession.

Do anyone want to admit being a keeper of loot (vs a possession)?

Posted by Cond0011 at December 23, 2012 3:02 PM

Merry Christmas and thanks for a very nice story.

My favorite Christmas present was given to me when I was 18. My mom had been in a bad wreck the previous year. Her knees had been destroyed and she lost her front teeth on the brake pedal. She was able to just barely get around on crutches. All we had was disability and I had not been able to attend my high school graduation because there just was not enough money for it.
My mom bought me a pair of fleece lined gloves. It meant so much to me then and still does. Because what matters the most about Christmas is the love that the presents are wrapped in.

Posted by Teri Pittman at December 23, 2012 6:10 PM

Catching up on the Blog-o-Sphere this calm and peaceful morning, it was reassuring to read the essay describing the largesse and madness of Christmas that I have been gradually escaping from for the whole of my life. Reassuring in the way that you exposed the facade of happiness that many people view as genuine. This illusion has greased the eyes of many of our fellow Americans in other facets of the successful American lifestyle.

Posted by Antonnia at December 30, 2012 8:35 AM

'illusion'. Good grief auto correct! [Fixed]

Posted by Antonnia at December 30, 2012 8:46 AM

Reading this again, now with a lad of my own almost the age of the one in my story, my heart breaks for that little boy. I hope somehow, some way, he is finding his way past that room and into a less filled and more fulfilling life.

Posted by Julie at December 25, 2013 1:07 PM

Christmas is for everyone. It isn't just the celebration of one man's birthday, but a celebration of joy and redemption. It is a gift for everyone. A day to stop and shout "Joy to the World".

Posted by grace at December 26, 2013 7:43 PM

@Grace -- I just read today a headline about winning the war to keep Christ is Christmas but losing the one over keeping Christ in Christianity. Christmas is just about one man's birthday -- Jesus, the only begotten Son of God. Jesus is a gift, the original gift, to everyone. I do hope He becomes known to you, personally.

Merry Christmas, Mr. V. With love from the other McBickersons. :-)

Posted by AbigailAdams at December 25, 2014 9:49 PM

@Grace -- I just read today a headline about winning the war to keep Christ is Christmas but losing the one over keeping Christ in Christianity. Christmas is just about one man's birthday -- Jesus, the only begotten Son of God. Jesus is a gift, the original gift, to everyone. I do hope He becomes known to you, personally.

Merry Christmas, Mr. V. With love from the other McBickersons. We ate caviar and drank champagne this morning in your honor. :-)

Posted by AbigailAdams at December 25, 2014 9:50 PM

Merry Christmas to you and yours, Gerard.

Posted by brinster at December 25, 2015 7:13 AM

I love this story. Our family has hit some tough times and we had to severely restrict our Christmas giving to around $75 bucks. $25 per kid.

We did the best we could, and the kids had a great time opening the gifts we were able to give them.

I cooked our traditional Christmas breakfast. This year was waffles, bacon, and sausage. I usually do eggs to order, but with the big Belgium waffles, the eggs just don't fit so well.

Not one of our kids complained. They loved their gifts, but they also know that Christmas is not about gifts. They understand that celebrating Christmas is all about God giving Christ to the world. We had a great Christmas! Low key, no stress. A lesson well learned years ago when the wife's "Norman Rockwell" Christmas completely fell apart.

I read your story with sadness. That kid seeing all those gifts, but somehow understanding that being given so much doesn't matter because his family is not a family.

I can't imagine Christmas without family, and I pray that I never do.

Poor kid, all those gifts, and no one to love.

Posted by JustMike at December 26, 2015 9:53 PM

Merry Christmas joy to you, Gerard!

Posted by Joan of Argghh! at December 25, 2016 8:38 AM

Jesus gave a gift of infinite worth to all who would accept it. All our gifts around that tree are but pale imitations. The custom of gift-giving obscures the Jesus' gift of eternal life.

For you, Gerard, there will be a second resurrection.

Posted by Arie korving at December 25, 2016 11:12 AM

Thank you Gerard.
Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year to all!

Posted by Eskyman at December 25, 2016 11:24 AM

My kids are grown, and mostly moved away. This was a tough year for my household: we had no tree, no presents, and a modest meal. We attended Mass.

It was liberating.

Posted by Christian at December 26, 2016 8:11 AM

My wife and I are separated, nearing a divorce. This was a bitter year for me. I lost my best friend to a heart attack. He was only 58. My dog died last summer.

I spent Christmas Eve with my sons, and most of Christmas day.

The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away.

Jesus was also called Emmanuel; I am with you.

We are never promised fun, fellowship and all the rest. But Jesus is with us. We have not been forsaken, as much as we sometimes like to feel sorry for ourselves. I feel blessed.

Merry Christmas, and better times for all of us.

Posted by David at December 29, 2016 9:34 AM

São vídeos que não deixam dúvidas, porque as aulas
são muito boas e uma aula complementa a outra.

Posted by curso de sublimação de camisetas at January 3, 2017 12:02 AM