I'm glad for many things that the year has brought me personally, and my desires are few, so there's no long list of holiday gifts (discreetly lying aeound on my messy desk, taped to the medicine chest, or anywhere else). I will likely succumb in small ways to procurement of goodies for the family, but as a trait, I rarely get frivolous gifts for anyone, regardless of the calendars threats (in fairness, when I do chance upon the 'perfect' gift, there isn't always some sanctified reason for giving it- the calendar and clock being less of a motivation than the element of surprise. There's nothing so sweet as causality cut adrift- heh, heh, er...Ho Ho!)
Doesn't leave much to get pumped up for, you say? I'll concede that it Does remove the punctuation from whatever statements we make, particularly those which by convention are writ large. Either I'm more conventional than I admit, or else, my kids received a peculiar genetic conservatism. Whatever the source, I'm forced to contend with a simpler analysis of the holidays, one featuring boldly-wrapped, ribbon-festooned plunder, delivered cheerfully on behalf of non-specific benefactors to shiny-eyed teens. Who knew that the cat would have the wherewithal to give my son an XBox, or that the turtles (in their testudo wisdom) could desist in their mockery long enough find the elusive cams for my daughters sewing machine? Clearly, few demands or expectations would be met by creatures with such different value systems, and such limited resources. The pets are exquisite in their befuddlement, and receive appreciative hugs, kisses, kibble and catnip with dignity, if not comprehension. The stockings are filled with gauds with an intentional half-life measurable in days, if not hours. This brands me as a tasteless cheapskate, but it decouples gift-giving as a reward system, and restores the whimsical quality (is this the expression I want?) to the holidays. The kids reciprocate by handing over armored cars, new automobiles, poetry, or other exotica (all in matchbox dimensions- i detest clutter! ;-)
The real gifts of this world are simpler and harder to find, and for others to enjoy only in the living. If our days were individually numbered just so , would it still be a worthy pastime, to bring harm to others? Setting down the cudgels (for even a few days) might be the gift that keeps giving. I like fishnets as Holiday stockings- you can pour a virtually unlimited amount vitriol or hot words into them, without any fear of overflowing them, and still have room for precious joys. Hopefully, the respite will rejuvenate us all.
PS: There are those like to season their posts with colorful regionalisms. For example, the traditional spelling of 'around', as "in the vicinity of", has other similar (but arcane) variations. One rarely sees it spelled, 'aeound', as it is typed in the Auld Bollocks dialect (the language of a nearly extinct, fat-fingered blogster tribe, most of whom expired from sheer lassitude). Feel free to use either form, an' doan fergit tah tellum I tole yer s'okay! Yeah, but what's it mean? Ahr, yer askin a lotta questions, then?