63 thoughts on “Merry Christmas and a Free Gift

  1. Merry Christmas! May your power stay on and your pipes be unfrozen.
    (No ruptured pipes here, we hope, but definitely blocked/frozen ones. Got down to 1 above here yesterday).

    1. Power might’ve flickered off for fifteen minutes or so last night. Frozen pipes, got. Repairs may be needed, but that’s life. Proper maintenance is not a race with a finish line, it’s a never ending process to keep parts that move moving and parts what don’t, still.

      Still and all, we’re doing okay. House ain’t burnt down, no frostbite, and the soup’s hot and tasty. Could well be a lot worse.

      May this Christmas bring you and yours blessings, each and every one. May there be joy in family and friends’ presence, in the adventures of little ones furry and not, and in remembrance of the ones that cannot be with us this year for reasons of pesky corporeality.

      May the stories read this Christmas be what you need them to be, and may there be much delight in the reading of them. Just go easy on the hard ‘nogg this season, eh? Don’t want to miss any of the fun by overindulging.

      Y’all have a Merry Christmas, folks!

  2. Thank you.
    May you and yours have a very merry Christmas.
    A very merry Christmas to all the Huns also.
    This blog is a light in the darkness to me among many. Thank you again.

  3. The Reader thanks you Sarah.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your weird household from my Odd household.

  4. A million thanks for your kindness and generosity- you give to us all year and then add even more giving at year;s end! Merry
    Christmas and God bless you.

  5. Merry Christmas Sarah, Huns and Hoydens! May your day be merry, bright, as warm as possible, and free of leaking pipes or (unwanted) flickering lights.

    Thank you for the stories!

  6. I only wish I could reciprocate. My writing is not nearly as beautiful or entertaining.

    The best I can offer is as follows, from a LinkedIn post I saw today:

    Using the website https://lnkd.in/gD9kRAAq, the password !@#MyP@5swrd! is said to take 210 years to crack.

    1. fed a version of my passwords at work where I have to change them every 60 days (SAP software), and 90 days (network):
      Time to crack your password:
      16 centuries

  7. Number one son will chant this as lector at tonight’s Mass, all that Latin he studied comes in handy. He has a beautiful baritone voice. I’ll probably blub, I usually do. He’s on the spectrum and has come so far. It’s a beautiful world despite the devil’s best efforts and all we do to help him.

    Anno a creatióne mundi, quando in princípio Deus creávit cælum et terram, quinquiés millésimo centésimo nonagésimo nono; a dilúvio autem, anno bis millésimo nongentésimo quinquagésimo séptimo; a nativitáte Abrahæ, anno bis millésimo quintodécimo; a Móyse et egréssu pópuli Israel de Ægýpto, anno millésimo quingentésimo décimo; ab unctióne David in Regem, anno millésimo trigésimo secúndo; Hebdómada sexagésima quinta, iuxta Daniélis prophétiam; Olympíade centésima nonagésima quarta; ab urbe Roma cóndita, anno septingentésimo quinquagésimo secúndo; anno Impérii Octaviáni Augústi quadragésimo secúndo, toto Orbe in pace compósito, sexta mundi ætáte, Iesus Christus, ætérnus Deus æterníque Patris Fílius, mundum volens advéntu suo piíssimo consecráre, de Spíritu Sancto concéptus, novémque post conceptiónem decúrsis ménsibus (Hic vox elevatur, et omnes genua flectunt), in Béthlehem Iudæ náscitur ex María Vírgine factus Homo. (Hic autem in priori voce dicitur, et in tono passionis:) Natívitas Dómini nostri Iesu Christi secúndum carnem.

    Happy Christmas everyone.

  8. Have a very Merry Christmas and best wishes throughout the coming New Year!

    Been said by millions, millions times before, but to my ears at least, it’ll never become, It Can Not Become, trite.

  9. Your Christmas stories had me tearing this morning. Thanks so much and Merry Christmas!!!

  10. “Now to the Lord sing praises,
    All you within this place,
    And with true love and brotherhood
    Each other now embrace;
    This holy tide of Christmas
    All other doth deface.
    O tidings of comfort and joy,
    Comfort and joy,
    O tidings of comfort and joy.”

  11. Merry Christmas to all, and especially we “deplorables”….May the day come when those who were not with us “shall think themselves accursed.”

  12. Merry Christmas, one and all. Enjoy the time you have with your family and friends and may you all be blessed. Continue to shine your lights on the darkness. It matters more than you will ever know.

  13. Merry Christmas everybody!
    Thanks Sarah for the great gift. Thanks all you other odd folks for just being there and willing to share.

  14. Downloaded; need to convince my OS to let me transfer the files.

    I’m remembering Christmases past, mostly fondly, though having to take my oldest brother to the hospital (appendectomy on Aisle 3, STAT!) was more interesting than fun. (Getting my own a few weeks later was just plain weird…)

    Mom passed at 99 years last Spring, so no more phone calls back East. (Family issues? Yes, sigh.) We’re also remembering pets who helped celebrate Christmas with us over the years. (Some of those met Mom and took to her while she was visiting, and Mom got a thrill out of that.) Kat the 19 month old Border Collie is experiencing her first winter where she can run around. Last week, we had lows in the -10 to -13 range, but right now, it’s around freezing. She loves that temperature. Getting her to remember to go potty is the challenge. There is such a thing as Too Much Fun. 🙂

    We’re going to visit neighbors this afternoon. Potluck, but with $SPOUSE’s gluten allergies, we’ll probably go at the start and make it a short visit. (I’m merely gluten intolerant, but she has breathing problems when wheat anything is baking.) Kat still hasn’t accepted that both of us can leave, but will be back. Young border collies are a handful.

    Merry Christmas and/or Happy Hanukkah to all. Stay warm and safe!

    1. Thanks for the ebooks, Sarah! Finally starting to read your other short story collection.

      Update: Can’t transfer mobi files via USB and the ‘zon says they won’t support the mobi format for future downloads “as of late 2022”. “.epub” formats are now the gold standard. (Various comments indicate that USB transfers are a crapshoot even on Windows machines. We’re windowless, so not confirmed. YMMV.)

      Calibre to the rescue. They’re on the desktop, and I’ll shove a copy to the laptop for comfy chair reading.

        1. It got above freezing here yesterday but the heat pump seems to have lost suction, as it were. I have the week off from the day job. I plan to install doors for spouse’s kitchen with some help.

          Thanks for bundling the stories for us.

  15. Merry Christmas to Sarah and all who read and comment here.
    You remind me that I am neither insane nor alone in a world of madness.
    Thanks, John

    1. Not so much sane, as finding out there are other people just as crazy. 😀
      Sanity is like most things — best practiced in moderation.

      1. But crazy in sensible ways, not in “that makes a tutu-wearing elephant playing bagpipes while riding a skateboard backwards look normal” ways. (At least the elephant doesn’t steal luggage from the airport, as best anyone knows.)

      2. “Sanity is like most things — best practiced in moderation.”

        My stock line on that subject: “Consider what passes for “normal” these days. Wouldn’t you rather be crazy?”

  16. Merry Christmas to you, your family and all of the shape changers out there.

    Happy New Year.

    Remember! Keep your go bag handy.

  17. Merry Christmas and Thank you to Sarah, and Merry Christmas to everyone, human, cat dragon and cow, and any others I forgot, from the Great Frozen Midwest. It was minus 9 two nights ago, it’s 13 now, and by New Year’s will be near 60. Gotta love Ohio weather.

    1. Of course, a week of epic blizzards and record-breaking cold is all the result of Glowbull Wormening which only pure-hearted Leftroids can save us from with the Green Newt Eel.

  18. The wran, the wran, the king of all birds,
    On St Stephen’s Day he got caught in the furze,
    Up with the kettle & down with the pan!
    Give us a penny to bury the wran!

  19. We followed the wren three miles or more
    three miles or more, three miles or more
    We followed the wren three miles or more
    On a bright Saint Stephen’s morning.

    That’s what you get for betraying our Lord, you vile little bird,

  20. “Rolie, Rolie, where’s your nest?”
    It’s in the bush that I like best.
    It’s in the bush—the holly tree
    Where all the boys come follow me!

  21. Sarah,
    Thank you so much for the wonderful collection of stories for this Christmas, and for all you do for your readers here and elsewhere.
    Also – a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and/or Seasons Greetings (as appropriate) to the motley crew that inhabit this wonder place.

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