Christmas and the Art of Gift Giving

Giving gifts is an art. Some of us whip out masterpieces every holiday.

And some of us . . . are still finger-painting.

At Christmas and all year, a master gift-giver knows the art of giving freely, without strings attached.

We can all conjure up mental images of gifts gone wrong—or right. The Perfect Gift. The Ugliest Gift. The Unintentional White Elephant Gift. The Generic Gift. The Are-You-Sure-the Nametags-Aren’t-Switched Gift.

What is it about gift-giving that some people seem to do so well, while others of us (raising my hand here) struggle to figure it out?

Here are some lessons I’m learning about the art of gift-giving. Continue reading

The Hopes and Fears of All the Years

You’re shivering. I can see it from here. Come in, come in, both of you. Let’s close the door on the cold world for a while.

There, that’s better. May I take your coats? I’ll pour you some coffee. Have a seat over by the fireside; try the chair in the corner or the rocker. Please, make yourselves at home.

Mug of Coffee at Fireside

Here we are. Nice, hot coffee. Why, you’re quite welcome. You look frost-bitten, too chilly to talk.

A firelit night like this one calls for a story. Shall I tell you one?

All right, I’ll tell you my favorite. Perfect for such a night. Comfortable? Good. (Soon you’ll either be more comfortable, or less.) Continue reading