Author of As the Crow Flies and two short storiesRobin's Website
(Read Robin's blog!)
ЖЖЖThe holidays have always been a time of illness for me. When I was a kid, I got sick every Christmas. Sometimes, as early as Thanksgiving. This year, I got sick after Thanksgiving for several days. I survived. Barely. But I did survive and I won Nanowrimo. Yay!!
Author of the short story Sanguis Dei
and the poetry collection Light and Dark
This month's Quills topic is a Treasure Hunt. A topic related to our stories. Gifts make up a large part of the relationship between Mikkayl Arrayn and his bondmate Sherakai. In the spirit of gift-giving, I read a blog article by Kristen Lamb: Test Your Holiday Style—Tiffany Crystal or Pre-Paid Bail Money?
I didn't take the quiz, though I read it through. It's all in good fun and amusing, mostly. Some a bit sad, really.
Sherakai gave Mikkayl a gorgeous journal, because Mikkayl, like me, writes--though he writes mostly poetry. The tooling is remarkable and the dedication, heartfelt. Gifts like these, that have meaning to the person they are given and meaning to the giver, are amazing. But this post is not just about the stories and Kai's gifts to Mik or his to Kai. I felt something deeper here and needed to share it.
For my part, I can't afford Christmas anymore. If I can get one gift for each member of my immediate family that means something to them, I'm able to sigh with relief. That's FIVE gifts. That's pretty much it unless I can bake some cookies for the stockings.
Construction paper cards or Cyber art I make myself doesn't count, right?
I don't send cards when e cards or a message on Facebook will do. And even with those, I can't afford the postage. (I'm not kidding, the best ones are subscription only and that's pricey!) I stopped trying to convince my kids that Santa was real when my son became a Buddhist. I swear, I SAW him when I was a kid--Santa, not my son the Buddhist--In the sky, in his sleigh. Everyone says I was dreaming! I used to tell them how he made the fireplace bigger and about the time travel machine he had and the amazing tech at the north pole... and then The SANTA CLAUSe came out and I realized I should have written down everything I told them because THAT was MY story! ARGH
The one I'm really angry about (I'm not bitter!) is the Polar Express. I wrote a very similar story called "The Santa Train" in 1993 and then my husband thought it would be a good idea to do a "span disk" save. The one disk that was destroyed by magnetic field? The source disk. So screwed. All I have left is an inaccessible file on a reformatted AOL floppy with "The Santa Train" scrawled across the label.
The best thing about being financially challenged at Christmas? The gift of my family. Family has always been the focus around here. My parents, my in-laws--it's what we know. I listen and enjoy and think. It is very, very good. I meditate on what I believe about the adult Jesus and why he came as the "Baby Jesus" and grew up (like Bambi, a part of the story which everyone seems to forget), to become Prince--of Peace, King of Kings.
It helps me. Gifts and lights are nice, and the gifts between Mik and Kai are given out of an overwhelming response to the love and sacrifice shown between these two men. The gifts we give at Christmas are sometimes thrilling, sometimes surprising; but they, too, are a response to the Gift we are all given: the redemption of God's own sacrifice; the freedom to really understand what love is because a Child was born unto us, a Son to seek and to save those who are lost.
Be known to Him. Merry Christmas.