I was struck today by a piece in the excellent City Journal:
The Phosphorescent List by Harrison Scott Key, City Journal 23 December 2008
Ricky, the enigmatic 12-year-old orphan to whom I’d been assigned as a Secret Santa, wanted three things for Christmas: a fleece blanket, some books, and a glow-in-the-dark basketball. The books were easy: The Call of the Wild and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. So was the blanket. The illuminated basketball was the monkey’s paw, and it would not let itself be found. I knew where one could be procured online, but I didn’t have enough time. The gifts were due at the mission in 12 hours. That deadline would crush the Christmas dream of Orphan Ricky. It was the purest kind of Christmas list, unsullied by the material lusts of the middle class or the depraved fantasies of the superrich. And yet I could not fulfill it. I knew that Orphan Ricky would see a gift-wrapped ball and that he would weep with mistaken thanksgiving. Then he would open it to learn that he had received the Christmas Shaft.
Full version well worth reading.
Our Hannukah gifts this year?
Photo puzzle for nephew, in hopes that he remembers what we look like.
Trip to puppet show for two small cousins.
Saturday night sleepover party featuring movie and pancakes for 7 year-old cousin.
No gifts for adults.