A Christmas Wish

blog world peace One of the many things I like about the holiday season is that we’re encouraged to think of our unmet needs or dearest wishes. Usually the prompt is innocuous, “So what’s on your Christmas list?” But how often are any of us asked what we really, truly want at any other time of year?

If you’re like me, your usual response to that question goes one of two ways. I want peace, prosperity and good health for everybody—I do mean EVERYBODY.

But if you catch me in a more practical moment (though I think world peace is very practical), I’ll probably tell you I’d love a pair of nice, warm organic wool socks, or that anything small, handmade and pretty will blog organic socksalways be welcome in my home. Sachets, soaps, dried flowers, cottage-decoration stuff gladdens my heart when I think of the person who made it or gave it to me.

As an author, my version of world peace and heart-made crafts is slightly different. I want my books to find their way into hands and hearts that will love them, and I want my books to stay away from the people who will be disappointed with them or upset by them. If that means I have fewer sales, then I’m happy, as long as the readers are happy.

blog Taz tieThere’s a catch with that Christmas question, though. When somebody asks, “So what do you want for Christmas?” You will get another Looney Tunes tie unless you say what you really, honestly, truly want. So here’s an author’s Christmas list, in case you’re ever wondering what an author–any author–would like during the season of appreciation and goodwill.

If you like a book, talk about it. Share it, lend it, recommend it, post about it on social media. Review it if that’s your inclination, drop the author an appreciative note. Let the librarians and book store owners know the book is by one of your keeper authors. Sign up for the author’s newsletter, and connect with him or her on social media. That’s at least ten gifts you can give your favorite authors that cost you nothing, and will mean the world to them.

blog wish listReaders are bright people. They know a recommendation from a friend or family member when it comes to books is likely to be a better match for them than even the much respected Amazon also-boughts. The author has to write an excellent book, but by and large, the readers are the ones who find the right hands for those books.

Lady Needs coverI feel selfish for putting this in a post, because I’m abundantly blessed with lovely readers and a big store of organic wool socks. (World peace might take a while, I get that.) But as somebody pointed out to me recently, sometimes, to have your heart’s desire, you MUST ASK FOR IT.

So I’ve made my list, and taped it on the fridge for anybody to see. What’s on your list that’s hard to ask for, or that might take a while?

To one commenter, I’ll send a $50 Amex gift card. Christmas IS coming, so is the cold weather, the heating bills, the holiday food bills…



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92 comments on “A Christmas Wish

  1. There are 2 things on my list that will take a while. A new couch and a vacation! As for reasonable material gifts, I would just love books or an Amazon gift card. Have a great Thanksgiving, Grace!

    • Half the pleasure of a vacation is planning it, and that you can start right now. Research destinations, accommodations, tour packages, even flights. I’d be curious to know where you decide to go.

      • Grace, I know it is cliche, but I want to go to Walt Disney World. We have a timeshare that we haven’t used for 7 years. I would like to drive down from NY. My daughter is 15 & she hardly remembers going there!

  2. Well other than world peace which as you said might take a while the only other thing I would love is even more of an impossibility. I would love it if my daughter’s sixth child, fifth girl and my seventh grandchild, had lived. Psalm-Angel Guadalupe would turn two months old on the 24th of November and everyone misses her so much. Her parents and siblings miss her so much as do I and it tears her mother up to even look at a picture of a baby.
    On the other hand, for a more practical present I would love a nice second-hand washer and dryer set. It would come in quite handy on days like today when it’s icky outside.

    • Molly, I’m so sorry your family lost that child. The holidays will be a special trial for your daughter, with all the emphasis on the miracle of any baby. Will keep you and your family in my thoughts.

      The washer and dryer… you take for granted their convenience until they bust, or the nearest safe laundromat closes.

  3. This is a very difficult question for me to answer because I always feel like I don’t really need anything. My lists usually consist of things for my boys. I wish I could get them the things they want and the older they get the more expensive the things they want are. We do our best to make sure their birthdays and Christmas are good ones. Sometimes this requires a little (a lot) of help from grandparents or other special people in our lives. When the boys have a wonderful Christmas then I have a wonderful Christmas.
    If I really had to answer this with only things for me I guess I would be selfish and ask for time away from the boys. A trip just for me or maybe just a day at a spa being pampered. Oh and maid would be nice, one that cooks would be even better. I need my own Alice from the Brady Bunch.

    • You need a wife. So many good women do, but alas. I’m glad you can see time away as something you’re entitled to and will benefit from. You nipped off to Dallas and civilization withstood that shock. Who knows what joys might come your way in the upcoming months?

  4. What I would like to have this Christmas is for all my grown children (3) with their girlfriends, spouse, friends is to go caroling. I think it says the holidays like no other. Then when we are finished, we come back and eat and open gifts.

    • Marvelous! I can recall when carolers would come to our door when I was a kid, especially a brass quintet that was particularly good. They of course had to come inside for a toddy, too, so their evening became progressively merrier…

  5. As far as the tangibles:art. All kinds, anyou kind. Things that people make with their own two hands are art to me whether it hango on the wall or is used on a daily basis.

    Intangibles that no one can really give me? To not drag into work on Wednesday or Thursday and bemoan the fact it is not Friday yet. Does that exist, consistenly, for anyone? ๐Ÿ™‚

    • That last item probably exists for people who work Mon-Weds. I know, as grateful as I am to have a day job, as much as I know it’s meaningful work, when I drag out of court on Thursday, it’s as if the emotional Red Sea has parted all over again.

      Yours is a hard job and not well compensated. I wish you many long weekends and short weeks, brilliant lesson plans, and kids and parents who Get It.

  6. Of course My biggest wish is to have both my children and families home for the holiday, this year I get half that wish and I am thankful. Practical ? I am with you for the organic Wool socks, my feet and ankles are always cold – I had a great pair of leg Warmupโ€™s that have just plain worn out and I keep googling because I forget where I bought them from.

    • I almost look forward to Winter because of my Maggie’s Organic socks, wool and cotton both. Those suckers are magic, and I’m with the Greeks when it comes to foot comfort: No foot, no horse. (No author either.)

  7. If course with the news coming in today, I would say world peace is really needed right now. When I think of what the aid worker Peter Kassig’s family is going through right now, I think I have a pretty good life. My heart breaks for them. For a gift that is more realistic, anything to do with books! Reading books I love is the only thing I do that is just for me. I hope you have a great Thanksgiving Grace and the other commenters on this post.

    • Every day, candles are blown out by overwhelming darkness, you’re right, Mary. For Peter’s family, and those imprisoned by hatred of all stripes, we can light candles, and refuse to let the darkness control us. Scary times, sad times, but then there’s the love, too.

  8. Although we celebrate Hanukkah, not Christmas, my most heartfelt wish is for my 16-year old granddaughter. She is on the Asberger’s spectrum and suffers from depression and anxiety. Although she is very bright, she is immature, she has no friends and is bullied at school. I wish for her to find peace of mind and spirit and for some light to shine into her life.

    • I am sorry to hear that she is treated unkind. I am learning alot about this myself now that I found out my 3.5 yr old son is on the autism spectrum. I pray that she has a beautiful and special christmas. It is so sweet of you to want such blessings for her. Keeping you and yours in our prayers this holiday and I hope that you find resolution to the bullying at school.

    • Hankie time.

      My daughter is also very bright, and plagued by anxiety and other problems. She’s also the sweetest person ever put on the planet, ferociously kind, almost kind to a fault, if that’s possible.

      And she has suffered much. As her mom, this makes me furious and heartbroken, because she did nothing to earn this misery, and it appears to have no point and no end.

      Then I think about me, who was born terrified of the dark. I can’t recall a time when, as a child, I didn’t dread going to bed. Nightmares owned me, and yet, because I shared a room with three siblings, and they wanted the light out, I hadn’t even a night light. I was supposed to “get over it,” and “grow up.”

      Took me thirty five years to learn to sleep without a light on. As a kid, I’d wait until the house was silent, grab my blankets and my courage (monsters lurked under my bed, so I’d jump as far from the bed as I could), make a pallet in the hallway, and then fall asleep where I could see a light. In the morning, I’d sneak back to my bed. This went on for years, and I was teased and ridiculed for it by my family. I wonder now what I might have done with my childhood had that entire part of my life not been sleep deprived.

      The same imagination that could invent monsters and devils, night after night, the same imagination that could bring little-girl-eating dinosaurs to life every night, the same imagination that heard aliens and gun men up in the living room every night, is the imagination that lets me write stories of love and courage now.

      Your granddaughter is suffering, but she’s also growing strong, she’s also learning who loves her no matter what, she’s also enduring the torments of adolescence that so many of us–whether we’re Spectrum or not–can share with her. Life is hard, for some unfairly hard, but then there’s the love.

      She has you. She has love. She has family. She has significant strengths. The monsters shall not win.

      • So where’s the young girl in one of your stories with THAT issue? I think it would be a great story subplot…

  9. For Christmas I truely would like to get my bills caught up after fighting to keep afloat with very little income, Finding out my only child has autism, and almost having my marriage end a beautiful end to the year would be to come out on top of this mess. Next would be to buy my family the gifts that they want when our financial trouble began my husband had already put in an order on a custom guitar that he cant finish paying on until later. I also want to make him a quilt. For my son new clothes as he keeps growing and more of his favorite disney cars and planes figures. For myself I want a real christmas tree. it will be my first one since i moved out on my own 8 yrs ago:)

  10. I’ve reached the age where I want for very little. As long as I have books to read, food on the table, friends and family, I have it all. But to be truly selfish, I certainly would like a fabulous vacation to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary in January.

    • You are wallowing in abundance, Dot, but also smart enough to know it. I hope you can take that vacation, maybe not this very January, but some January soon. Take a small step toward making it happen, and then another small step… Fifty years should be celebrated!

  11. I just want to have my family gather together and have a good time spending time together. Last year my grandmother oassed right before Christmas so I feel that my family was denied a great Christmas. I love my family so much and only want the best for them. We don’t get to spend much time together because everyone is so busy and I miss them so much.

    • I think Christmas is well placed, myself. When it’s growing cold and dark, and too many of us are wondering, “Will I be able to stretch what I’ve got to handle this winter?” We need each other more under those circumstances than when all is sunny and easy. I hope your family has the BEST CHRISTMAS EVER.

  12. The thing I would like most is for my Mom to keep her memory. She will be 82 on Thursday and is beginning to forget things. With her 350 miles away, it was an arranged visit over last weekend which really brought it home to me. Talking on the phone at least a few times a week hadn’t prepared me for time spent with her. It is breaking my heart that the woman with a mind like a steel trap is not there now. I may be 61 years old, but I still want my mommy!

    • Oh, Martha… I recall the first time I came to my parent’s door, and Dad opened it. No recognition in his eyes until I said, “Hi, Daa! Are you glad to see your very own daughter Grace?!” Or something like that. The first little fissures went cracking through my heart in anticipation of greater griefs and heartbreaks.

      But I’m inspired too. Someday, a cheerful younger woman might come to my door, and I won’t recognize her as my daughter. That day isn’t today, and I want to pack as much life into the remaining daylight as I can. Starting NOW.

    • Hang in there, Sheila. Retail is so miserably hard, and pays so little. I think any employer knows though, if you can hack retail, you can endure nearly anything. Here’s to new opportunities in the new year and getting off your feet as often as you can during the day.

  13. All my family know I just want book money, so that I can buy books throughout the year when they’re released. I’m really easy to shop for! Also what I want for the holidays is time to spend with family, hopefully with none of us cranky (THAT’S the hard part!)

    • We put such big expectations on the holidays–that all will be merry and bright. In truth, all can be pretty tired, broke, and chilly. You ARE easy to buy for, though, so you’ll probably get exactly what you want, and that bodes well for your disposition!

  14. Really, the list is so short of things I want for ”myself”. And an amazon or joanne fabrics gift card would pretty much cover those things.
    But there are a couple things I regularly ask God to see to. And then I leave it with him.
    I hope some of the list on your fridge get underway.

    • Lisa…I do the same thing. I pray and hope for the best each Sarurday at Mass. Sometimes,you have to belive that everything will turn out for the best.

      • And I think I need your proof reading skills…when I type at all times!
        I know you know what I meant to type!!

  15. My secret Christmas wish is to be able to go across the pond and see my daughter this Spring. She will be spending Spring semester in London studying at King’s College. I know It’s not possible for me to go financially. But, I’d love to! Am hoping she has a fabulous time and is able to travel while she is there. I will miss her.

    Everyday (and more attainable wishes..) would be a new pair of wellies and warm mittens for my dog walking, new sweater and wool pants for work and a new bag! And a book or two. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Am hoping for a quiet peaceful Christmas with my husband, daughter, Irish the corgi and her brood.

  16. I’ve done more reviews this year than ever before. I’m going to try to keep up. I feel I owe the authors my time after all the time they put in writing it.

    I would like an E-reader this year or an IPAD.

    I also need someone to help me care for my 90 yo mom. She is a bit unsteady but wants to be independent.

  17. I want 2015 to be a good as 2014. This year started a bit challenging but thanks to friends so many good activities have returned to my life. Enough that I’m behind on my reading for the year, by half. All the usual financial and health hurdles are still happening…saddle time and friends make it all better. So, the gift of times well spent with two legged and four legged friends in 2015. That’s my Christmas wish.

    • Pony time… I think we’re in a hurt as a society because we’re disconnected from the horse. Just my two… The horse and all the beasts. My cats, dogs, and ponies agree, and so would my daughter’s gecko.

  18. Well, at the risk of sounding like a real Pollyanna, I enjoy Christmas so much because I like shopping for others – especially the kids. If I have enough left in my budget, I get the adults something too. However, there’s hardly ever anything I really want for myself. I guess the thing I enjoy the most are gift cards, because I do use them.

    As a gift to you and to other authors that I enjoy so much, I’m making a resolution to do a better job of writing reviews for the wonderful books you guys produce. I buy a lot of books from Amazon, but I have reviewed only a small fraction of them. I don’t think of myself as a good reviewer because I seem to enjoy everything I read (smile).

    I check out new authors by borrowing their books from the library. By the time I invest my money in their works I already know that they are shelf worthy.

    I’m going to do a better job of spreading the word!

  19. I have some home improvements that are on my list and it may take awhile to get them done. I would like to pave my drive way, get gutters, and have a deck built in my backyard. Until then, I will happily take Amazon gift cards for my Kindle and anything that my son picks out himself at the store.

    • My home improvement list is endless, and includes solar panels for the roof. The old sun is up there, doing its thing, and we’re not making fossil fuels fast enough or safely enough for me… Long term dream though, because, Scotland, you know?

  20. I wish for this every day… I wish there was no animal abuse and neglect and all the animals in the world live in happy loving homes.

  21. This is actually pretty easy. I want for my husband to get any and every thing that he wants. He’s not a materialistic person though. He does such an amazing job basically working 3 different jobs to provide for me and our two sons. I have bipolar disorder and he’s stuck with me through all the years of trying different medications, then dealing with the fallout when they don’t work. Money is tight for us, but he always manages to get everyone the things they need, at the expense of his own needs and wants.

    • I hope the bi-polar medication management smooths out for you, but I know it’s an ongoing challenge. You find something that works… for a while. You find the dose that works… for a while. You find something without side effects… for a while.

      But you found a good guy for keeps, and that makes all the difference!

  22. My dearest wish is to spend the holiday with my family, but since they’re all on the opposite side of the country from me, a phone call, a FaceTime chat, or even a text is what I’ve got on my list. I love getting Christmas cards from friends, and one who doesn’t send cards always calls, so that is even more special. I feel that anything else is a bonus, since I don’t really need more stuff, I have plenty of that. Although something small and pretty is always lovely to receive (or books of course). ๐Ÿ˜€

  23. The older I get, the shorter my Christmas lists get. There’s just not a lot that I want my son or my siblings to get me, so there’s nothing that’s hard to ask for. My always-favorite gift is bookstore gift cards. I’ve heard people say they don’t like to get gift cards and that just does not compute with me! I absolutely love a gift card so I can go into a bookstore and walk through, spending it fifty times over before finally narrowing it down.

    • I like gift cards too, they’re a way to be thoughtful twice–it’s a gift, but also an opportunity for the recipient to choose for themselves. I still miss Borders, and while I love Barnes and Noble, the nearest one is an hour away.

  24. Not to rush ones life away but I’d love the new ‘Daniel’ book that is in the works, to hit the shelves in time for Christmas ๐Ÿ™‚ Alas, some of the nicest things in life are ones you waited for. So I’ll patiently wait until next year when he & the other Lords are ready to make their debut. Paws up to a happy muse, so you can continue to write.

  25. I don’t have much on my list this year…my wants are pretty minimal these days. I want my son to come home from college for the holidays after he’s “Aced” his finals (hear that Santa?) feeling better and healing after he broke his collar bone a month ago. I’d love help getting a new Nook Galaxy Tablet so I can replace my Nook Color. My “Obama Care” Insurance gave me an early Christmas present this year…A new Tandem Insulin Pump so I no longer have to worry that the old one I was using would fail since it’s no longer made. That was a BIG gift ($10,000 worth).

    • Wow… that danged diabetes. My sister is a Type One, and just couldn’t find the pump that worked for her. She does have a continuous monitor, though, and it has made the management so much easier.

      Your Christmas wish is so reasonable… My daughter just got through finals, and unlike the last term she completed, they did not send her into a bad tailspin. I’m sooooo grateful for her fortitude and resilience.

  26. i think te most hard thing for me to get would be a vacation for myself. Mostly because I have so much responsibilities and people depending on me that I can’t really see myself taking a cm vacation but maybe this year hopefully.

    • I know that feeling. I can afford to get away (some times, sorta), but the effort of arranging things at work and at home is so great, I’m not sure getting away is worth the hassle. I’ll wish you success with that, because we do need and deserve breaks, ESPECIALLY when we’re carrying a big load of responsibility!

  27. For Christmas I would like a moral awakening within the hearts and minds of the citizens of our country to their responsibility to stand for justice and equality. I am very disheartened by the way $$ has taken over the decision making at all levels of government. It is just so horrible that a few greedy individuals are turning our country into their moneymaking scheme. So that is what I really want – a reawakening.

    • Mary, I hear you, but two things comfort me regarding this development. We’ve been here before, as recently as the 1890s. A very few people controlled the elections, and they did it through significant wealth. We fixed it then, we’ll fix it this time too, if we’re interested in maintaining a democratic form of government.

      The other thing that gripes me is the extent to which campaign politics is no longer about solving problems, it’s about whipping up fear, worry, and division. The media has completely abdicated its role as purveyor of relevant truth, and that’s a harder problem to solve than campaign finance reform.

  28. I want my Mama……and since she passed away this past summer, that won’t be happening. She was miserable for the last six months or so of her life, so it was a blessing she passed in a way but the rest of us–her husband of almost 60 years, six children, six grandchildren and one great-grandbaby–will be floundering. She was a operatic coloratura soprano so she left many of us with musical talents of our own handed down to us, several even earning a decent living singing and playing. While we play and sing and fa-la-la this Advent and Christmas season, we will be thinking of missing her voice lifted up with ours. I’d like 2015 to be a better year, 2014 SUCKED for my family Things staying on an even keel for a change would be great….no winning the lottery, just peace!

    On a practical side, I’d like some wooly socks too! I saw some rag socks a few weeks ago with tatted lace on the cuffs which would be PERFECT to wear to bed on these cold winter nights we have here in the Midwest. And they’re cute too!

    Grace, I am amazed by the number of commenters here with a family member affected by autism. I, too, have a son who has autism but he is an adult. And, after many years of schooling, therapy, diets, etc. etc. he isn’t cured. But you know what? He’s a GREAT person I am proud to have as a son. We felt, like many here who have younger children with autism, what we were doing to help him was such strain and so tough. We didn’t think anything we were doing would make any different some days. But as he has gotten older, he occasionally does something we never have expected him to do. A case in point was the day of his grandmother’s death. Mom was in home hospice and we all spent that day with her, singing to her, washing her and helping the medical personal with her care. Through it all, Russell never left her side, sitting in the recliner next to her hospital bed and watched, with tears in his eyes. He doesn’t speak but we know he was just as heartbroken as we with his beloved granny’s decline. He loved her and wouldn’t leave her, wouldn’t leave her……eventho he has autism and has difficulty with communication, it was clear he loved her. This was his gift to us this year—he may have autism, but he is a good person, capable of love and all those years of fighting school districts, shlepping to therapists and dealing with extended family who don’t have a clue were WORTH it. And I hope my sharing this gives others here touched by autism the gift of hope for the future.

    • I read an article this week by some folks who are autism “experts,” and one of them IS autistic. Big debate used to be if folks on the spectrum had decreased capacity for empathy. “New” theory–spectrum folks have INCREASED capacity for empathy, to the point that they take much longer to distinguish between your emotions and their own. They’re almost incapable of blocking the emotions and sensory stimuli around them, and what goes on inside is like a symphony compared the usual tootling solo instrument the rest of us think is hard to manage.

      Well duh.

  29. I want other people to tell me what they want if they can but I’m really horrible at giving suggestions for myself. I want people to know and I’m always trying to figure out what others really want (that I can afford lol). I’ve been asking for shelves for the past two years but to be perfectly honest, I’m not sure where we would put them. If not that I’d be happy with some new slippers (mine have holes). I really don’t need a lot and I can hang on to things forever lol. I too love homemade gifts because you know someone put in time and effort.

  30. My usual wish list goes something like: books, chocolate, books, such and such kitchen utensil, books or gift card for books, boots, books….

    A wonderful gift would be more time off to spend with my family. Even better would be for my wayward brother to get his life together so our father can have some peace of mind and not worry so much. I worry about little brother too, but not the way a parent does.

    • Wayward… such a gentle word for such a troubling circumstance. I wish your family peace for this holiday season and into the New Year. I’d observe that we do grow up. Some of the people I represented twenty years ago in foster care went on to mess with the criminal justice system, the child support system, the landlord tenant courts… but many of them did find smooth sailing, eventually. Just took a lot longer than their mamas would have wished…

  31. I am an animal lover, especially cats. I would love to be able to give monetary donations to my favorite no-kill animal shelters and the Beagle Freedom Project. And meals to the homeless. I don’t have much, but there are always those in greater need.

    I loved The Traitor and The Laird!

    • Glad you enjoyed the books! Those are excellent priorities, says me, especially with cold weather upon us. Sometimes, we serve a greater purpose simply by being attentive. That there ARE people who care about animals, the homeless, the beagles, makes a difference. The simple fact of your caring makes a difference.

  32. I used to start my Christmas list with “a hippopotamus,” because I love the song (“I want a hippopotamus for Christmas…”).
    But last year my younger daughter gave me a small ceramic hippo (from Ten Thousand Villages), so I guess I have to find somthing else now…like a Nook that doesn’t shut down after only 4 minutes of reading.

    • Bill, I’m typing this reply on a new computer, and I have to, I HATE IT. Loathe it with a beady-eyed, foul-mouthed passion. Ads pop up from at least two sides every minute or so, the “anti-virual” security software has to pop up too, declaring that it blocked suspicious content, the search engines all mosey past ad sites when I want them to go direct to a url…. Technology is a very mixed blessing, and I thank the Deity every night for print books.

  33. I have been asked several times this year but I would like for Christmas. The truth is there is a distinct difference between what I need and want and what people perceive they can actually give as gifts. For myself– financial security, a nice pair of warm socks and coordinating gloves, hat & barn boots, good health for the next year and some time to spend with my horses –that’s what’s on my list. But in general, what do I really want from people? I want honesty, compassion, “try,” faithfulness, and support. It’s so difficult to put this out there without people being offended personally but I think these are traits we can all work on within ourselves and in do hope the people around me put their best feet forward as much as within their realm of reality. Peace on Earth might be easier that way ๐Ÿ™‚

    • “Try.” Love that horseperson’s word. For those of us bereft of horses, it means the first, tiniest glimmer of an attempt to figure out what somebody is trying to tell us. Maybe the horse walks away twenty times when you ask it to walk toward you, but on the twenty-first attempt, he at least stares at your first. You reward that, praise it, because it’s closer to coming toward you than if he’d turned his backside to you. Try.

      We could all use the patience to find the try, and the patience to try. Excellent point.

  34. My holiday wish list keeps getting smaller and smaller. I just don’t need much, and I don’t want to burden someone I love with ‘wants’ that are of a temporary nature. So it never ceases to amaze me when there, under the tree, are gifts given with love that are, well well, just right and just enough. One time I went to see Santa down on the DC mall. When it was my turn I asked him what he thought I wanted. He went through the list: a refrigerator? nope. a car? nope. a job? nope. LOL finally he asked me, well what do you want? and I said, really, Santa? you can’t guess? and he scratched his head. Then his eyes opened wide. And together, in unison we said, “Peace on Earth!” Yo, Santa baby! I’m still waiting!

    • World peace is the big prize, but what I can do to bring it closer is be a peaceful person. When I want to rant on FB (which is OFTEN)I either don’t comment, or reply civilly. When I want to tear into a co-worker for dropping the ball, I try to focus on how to solve the problem instead.

      I have limited success. Part of our legacy as Americans is that we’re very good at picking up stakes and finding greener pastures. We’re not so good at dealing with the friction that arises in close quarters with people we didn’t necessarily chose to bring into our circle.

  35. The only materialistic things I would love for Christmas is a new tablet, mine is on its last leg, and gift cards for books. Shocking. lol But as long as my kids have an awesome Christmas I am all set.

  36. Hmm… I am going to buy myself a new mattress and a new Nook for Christmas. My mom is 81 and has dementia. I am going to visit her for a few days during Christmas break. I’ll bring her pound cake and Johnny Carson. Being an historian I know world peace is a tough one. I remember John Chancellor one time saying “Today there is no war.” Perhaps one day of peace? Perhaps Christmas Day?

    • As a kid, I used to hear about the Christmas Day cease fires in Vietnam–and the enemy was largely non-Christian. Used to drive me nuts. If we could put down our guns for a day to celebrate the birth of a baby two millenia ago, why not put them down to celebrate all the babies alive in that war zone? Made no sense to me, and still doesn’t.

  37. I wish that everyone at Christmas would dig into their wallets and purses and give to the poor. Yes, times are hard for everyone but we can see that people are not dying from starvation. There are people out there who really need a lift, someone working for only seven dollars an hour. I remember what it was like when my husband made two dollars an hour. Now in our retirement we love to give others some joy at Christmas. When you hear the Salvation Army bell ringing, let the joy of Christmass ring in your heart and put some money into the bucket!

    • What you said. When is it EVER a bad idea to be kind. Anybody who brings up the word “enable” in reply needs to try to make it dealing with that the poor are up against. The deck is increasingly stacked, wealth increasingly concentrated, and poverty growing. Kindness, now more than ever.

  38. Reading the Macgregor series again. The only book I really grasped was the first one. While reading the Christmas book I fell for Tiberius. Had to go back read more about him. I also noticed that I did not even finish Asher’s book. Stopped in London.it was great. This was a much better series than I remembered and it took the Christmas book to see that. LOL. Thank you again.

    • Interesting, isn’t it, how books sometimes need to find the right time to join our library. I recall reading Scott Peck’s, “The Road Less Traveled,” and barely getting through it because of the pedantic, admonitory tone. A few years later, I scarfed it up…

      Glad the series did eventually work for you!

  39. December is not a happy month, it is when I long to fit in. My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. Probably because of the mashed potatoes and stuffing served at the same time. Now that I am grown up, I connect with the gratitude piece very strongly and try to hang tight to that through the new year and beyond.