There’s no question of what special gifts this columnist craves. My life is abundant so material needs are few. I possess all the gadgets, DVDs, musical CDs and biographies I can shelve and enjoy. There are ample provisions in the pantry and a bottle or three of my favorite vintages in the wine rack. The “ranch,” as we call our home, is looking good; my mother is remarkably resilient at 98; and the Hunter “zoo annex” has a Yorkie named Milo, the happiest terrier in town.
I am clearly aging but with little loss of culinary curiosity and cultural enthusiasm. After more than half a century, I continue to welcome weekly print and broadcast deadlines. Best of all, I am blessed with faithful friends.
In short, I am a fortunate and grateful being. However, there remains one fervent concern to be shared before I hang the Yuletide stockings. The Palate avidly longs to bottle up the lively holiday spirits bubbling over during this special season before it all goes flat and vanishes for another year. We’ve had better –and worst times, but as the saying goes, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going.” So I’ll endeavor to store my precious holiday elixir in much the way vintners store premium wines until the inevitable morning after when the frosting is off the cake, once shiny pines are shedding and this heartfelt greeting is filed or tossed away with the dozens you’ll receive. When pressing world headlines or personal deadlines attempt to overwhelm me, I’ll uncork a few wondrous wafts to remind me of how warm and generous people were to one another way back in December of 2010.
Of course, so rare an essence should not be hoarded. I intend to spread it around like a fresh glimpse of sunshine on a dreary day or fertilizer on a brown and barren lawn. Then we’ll get a special “glow on” and hang out together as we cling to the gleaming holiday spirit all year long.
For good measure, I’ll send a special scent of home to our deserving men and women overseas. We can surely spare that much for our troops who’ve given so much for the U.S.A.!
So all right already – I’m actually hoping to discover invaluable treasures beneath colorful but frail ornaments but far greater wonders have been wrought in the spirit of Christmas past. Why crave a loaf of bread when we might own the grocery store?
In this final communication for the old year, the Palate wishes one and all joyous holidays with a prayer for “peace on earth and, good will to all!”