Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What a Child Knows and I Keep Learning

Image borrowed from Bing


Sam, the 35 year old magic Martian midget
(who lived with us and was also seven years old)
Delivered the Christmas goods to me once again.
“Wish lists” were due at our house the first of December.
The task was to divide up $50
between self and family and friends.
Christian (younger brother) had a long and detailed list -
exactly $50.
But Sam’s list had one item only.
“Please,” the note said,
“I wish to have $50 worth of comic books.”
“Thank you all” “Sam.”
“Sam, that’s 433 comic books.”
“REALLY? Wow!”
“Sam, what about friends and family?”
“Oh, they can read the comic books after I’m done.
It’s sharing, isn’t it?”

Now $50 worth of comic books is
an irrational extravagance, right?
But I ask you, what else is Christmas about
if not irrational extravagance?
The ancient myth of a God giving his only Son
as a sign to a world of men of hope.
What is more irrationally extravagant than that?
On a winter’s night, in a time of fearful trouble,
a gift of life - a child.
And the angels sang - of the most incautious
and outlandish hope of all - Peace.
On earth. Goodwill. Toward all -
each and every one.
If that’s not irrational extravagance,
I don’t know what is.
A gift of hope out of all proportion and sense.
A vision of Jerusalem, the Holy City,
the Kingdom of God and Man.

And what shall we of the 20 century give
one another at this season of the spirit
as a token reminder of that ancient covenant
woven of yearning and glory?
Stretch socks? Handkerchiefs? House slippers?
Nick-nacks for the kitchen, soap,
electronic doo-dads, clocks, pens, panty hose,
magazine subscriptions?
Forget it.

How about a thousand balloons, wind up toys,
a year’s supply of bubble gum, tambourines,
with ribbons, kites, a case of chicken soup,
365 fortune cookies, 50 feet of fine licorice ,
10 tickets on a merry go round,
a quart of jumping beans,
a turtle dove or two, a partridge in a pear tree,
and thousand sparklers,
a hundred pounds of chocolate chip cookie dough –
and on and on- wrapped in bright orange silk
and thrown grandly about someone’s life
with abandon and laughter.

$50 worth of comic books is a genuine Christmas gift.
In the name of the spirit of Christmas -
in the name of hope and peace and joy -
in the spirit of the irrational and mysterious
and wondrous unbelievability of it all.

Robert Fulghum


Image by Nestor Redondo


Lisa said...

Thanks for posting this piece. It is a refreshing look at the true irrational extravagence of Christmas. I enjoyed seeing this season from such fun wrapped in such truth.

Lisa said...


Linda Bob Grifins Korbetis Hall said...

Hope you well, season's greetings!

Awards 4 U, Merry Christmas, Thanks 4 Being My Friend!


Awards 4 U, Stay Blessed