How to Un-Money Christmas


Several years ago, a friend of mine found a way to un-money Christmas.

True, “B” needed to un-money Christmas that year because she had no money.

But she still gave gifts—cheap gifts, yet very special.  Symbolic gifts—such as the one she gave to “J”.

However, J didn’t know what to make of the little witch doll on a string—an ornament, but an ornament more suited for a Halloween tree.  Still, since J hardly knew B, she felt honored that the woman had thought of her at Christmastime.

Later, after the party, I explained the significance of the witch to J.

Witches go here and there, on their brooms, to whatever place needs sweeping.  They clean up messes, clean up trouble.  These witches are invaluable in our dusty world.  For B to give my friend J a witch doll was high praise indeed.

And what did she give me that year?  I’m hesitant to even mention that very personal gift.  But for the sake of honesty I’ll tell you…

It was a bottle opener.

A bottle opener in the shape of a key—a big metal key, gold in color.  Something from B’s kitchen drawer, no doubt.

Of all the gifts I’ve been given over the years, very few remain.  I don’t like to collect “stuff”.

However, thirty years later, I still have that gold key…

…along with the thought that went into the giving of it.

© 2010, Michael R. Patton
50 Best Poetry Books for Kids


About Michael Patton

I am a poet, novelist, and fabulist...A new mythologist, a peace miller, a dream worker...I don't qualify as an illustrator or photographer--I just "make pictures"...I have thirteen books available at amazon... I currently reside in northwest Arkansas, but have lived and worked all over the United States... I'm self-taught, for the most part--which is like searching for the right door in the dark. It's an on-going process.... I don't want to write MY story, I want OUR story, so that's what I'm studying: the human story: past, present, future, in its many aspects--including the spiritual. I'm proceeding at a slow crawl.... I don't see the inner world and outer world as separate. By learning about myself, I learn about others, I learn about my world.... Conversely, as I struggle to understand what I see OUT THERE, I learn about myself.... But to be clear: I don't claim any special understanding. I'm still purblind, still only half-awake.... After frustrating experience with the publisher of my first novel, I've published on my own, beginning with e-books, with plans to move into print and audio. Even video.... Along with a second novel, I've now published eight books of poetry. Each poetry book focuses on a theme. For instance, the collection GLORIOUS TEDIOUS TRANSFORMATION is about the slow difficult wonderful process of change.... In that book, as with all my work, I try to be accessible to a general audience, while also striving to achieve a certain literary quality.
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