There’s no question of what gifts Gregg Hunter craves. My life is abundant and material needs are few. I possess all the gadgets, cell and digital phones, ample memories, 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 home, after 45 years of residence and renovation, is looking pretty good; Milo, the amazing Yorkshire terrier, rules the roost and is a great pal. It has been a challenging year physically but I’m healing. Sure I’m aging but I still have culinary curiosity and cultural enthusiasm. After more than half a century, I continue to welcome weekly print and broadcast deadlines. Best of all, I’m blessed with enduring affection and a fair share of faithful friends. I am a blessed being.
There remains one fervent matter to be dealt with before I hang my Yuletide stocking. The Palate avidly longs to bottle up the delectable holiday spirits bubbling over during this special season before it all vanishes for another year. We’ve known better — and lesser — times but as an observant sage declared “when the going gets tough, the tough get going.” So I’ll store my precious holiday elixir in much the manner vintners store premium wines until the inevitable morning after when the frosting is stale, once shiny pines are shedding, and this heartfelt greeting has been filed or tossed away with the dozens of Hallmark rhymes you’ll receive. Whenever headlines or deadlines attempt to overwhelm, I’ll uncork a few wondrous wafts to remind me of how warm and generous we were to one another way back in December.
So rare an essence should never be hoarded so I’ll spread the precious stuff around like a glimpse of sunshine on a dreary day or fertilizer on a 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 dispatch a special scent of home to our deserving men and women overseas. We can surely spare that much for our troops who’ve sacrificed so much for the USA.
So all right already — I’m seeking to discover an invaluable treasure beneath colorful but frail ornaments. Well, far greater wonders have been wrought in Christmas past. Why crave a loaf of bread when we might own the grocery store?