"Nearly all the best and most precious things in the universe you can get for a halfpenny. I make an exception, of course, of the sun, the moon, the earth, people, stars, thunderstorms, and such trifles. You can get them for nothing. Also I make an exception of another thing: The Spirit of Christmas!"
from "The Shop of Ghosts" (1909)
a Christmas story by G. K. Chesterton (1874 - 1936),
one of the most influential English writers of the 20th century
Lots of Beautiful Pastel Decorations from MARIETTA
As my friend Marv once said in one of the best odes to Christmas that I've ever read anywhere:
"Still, as always, I look forward to anything 'Christmas,' be it sacred or profane.
"Quite frankly, I love it all: commercial or spiritual, mall or church, crass or sublime, jaded or sentimental, slow or frantic, sad or comic, regretful or nostalgic, adult or childish, wrapping up or ripping open, giving or spartan, on-line or in line, pine or palm, white or tropical green, it just does not matter; it's all moving and wonderful, magical and grand (and I wish it lasted all year)."
Marv is also the one who introduced me to the concept of "Christmas Amnesty":
You can fall out of contact with friends, fail to return calls, ignore e-mails, avoid eye contact at the store, forget birthdays, anniversaries and reunions, and if you write during the holidays, they are socially bound to forgive you and act like nothing happened. Decorum dictates that the friendship move forward from that point, without guilt or recrimination. . . . Just say, "Sorry I haven't written. Merry Christmas."
. . . Amnesty protocol demands that your friend / relative say, "That's okay" and move on without comment. This is the way it has always been done. (see Chapter 8: "Holiday Heartbreak," 108 - 09)
from The Stupidist Angel:
A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror
a novel by Christopher Moore (b 1957, Ohio),
contemporary American writer of absurdist fiction
and comic fantasy
"I understand it now,"
Mr. Dickens cried,
will never die"
("Shop of Ghosts,"