Ol' Morgan is sure you know about the frenzied part. But, fortuitous? By all means, yes. In asking folks directly, or by consulting with key players in the gift chain, or by racking one's brain for ideas, we've all expressed a kind of concern and thoughtfulness for loved ones, friends, and associates.
Back in the days when he was between a young shaver and a young buck, the ol' one began a tradition he thought would last and last. For about five Christmases, anyhow, he trudged out to the Gimbels department store, the one branch they called "Gimbels Great Northeast," near the ol' one's ancestral home in the northeast section of Philadelphia. And, what a dandy emporium it was!
Since he had come of age to hold a part-time job, he found he had the wherewithal to go beyond securing the round of presents for the immediate family at Gimbels, and was able to procure tins of fruitcake as well. The ol' one thought it to be a delicious idea and one the immediate family would look forward to savoring every Christmas.
So, for those five or so Christmases, fruitcakes from Gimbels would be the tinsel on the tree for the ol' one, so to speak. Later in the year, it would warm his spirit to find frozen fruit cakes in the freezers of friends and family in July.
Well, truth be told, it took seven Julys for the ol' one to figure out that not as many as he had first thought had shared his enthusiasm for this wondrous seasonal confection of nuts and fruits. Ah, ha! That's why there were so many fruitcakes to be had in July.
But, at least ol' Morgan thought that friends and family would find this frozen reminder of holiday mirth as some good will toward men as they opened their freezers on the Fourth of July.
That's like the young couple in the O. Henry tale, Gift of the Magi, who sell their most treasured possessions-she, her long and beautiful hair, he, his grandfather's watch -so that each could give the other the one gift each could afford by giving of themselves: a set of combs for her and a watch fob
chain for him.
Or, as the fabled editorial of the New York Sun in 1897 stated, 'Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias."
Or as Bob Cratchit in Dickens' A Christmas Carol, upon returning from church on Christmas Day, told his wife what Tiny Tim had said: "...that he hoped the people saw him in the church, because he was a cripple, and that it might be pleasant for them to remember upon Christmas Day, who made lame beggars walk and blind men see."
Or as St. Luke wrote in his Christmas gospel: "And there were shepherds in the same district living in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood by them and they feared exceedingly. And the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which shall be to all the people; for today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you...And suddenly there was with the angle a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men of good will.'"
So, fruitcakes notwithstanding, ol' Morgan sends to you and yours his best wishes for a holiday brimming with true meaning and love.