There’s no question of what gifts Gregg Hunter craves. My life is abundant and 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 home — is looking good, and the Hunter “zoo” annex belongs to three-year-old Milo, the adorable Yorkie. I am aging but with little loss of culinary curiosity and cultural enthusiasm. After 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 blessed being.
However, there remains one fervent concern to be dealt with 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 known better — and lesser – times, but as an observant sage declared, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” So I’ll endeavor to 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. Then if headlines or deadlines attempt to overwhelm, I’ll uncork a few wondrous wafts to remind me of how warm and generous people were to one another way back in December ‘11.
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 USA. Hurry home, heroes!
So all right already — I’m actually hoping to discover invaluable treasures 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?
In this final column for the season, the Palate wishes one and all a delectable holiday with a fervent prayer for “peace on earth, good will to men.”