The phrase comes from the carol “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming.”
Somehow, the words “when half-spent was the night” instead of “in the middle of the night” (a choice doubtless made to fit the rhythm) makes one think about the meaning more. Something about a gift arriving unexpectedly halfway through a time of darkness. Something surprising and curious.
A nice gift I received Friday was an expression of gratitude for being there for someone through her first year at my workplace. With tears in her eyes. Golly. Something surprising. A welcome surprise.
Then today, tucked in the back door, a stealth gift. Hmmm. No note. Swedish colors. For Erik? I think I recognize the cookie style. It suggests Suzanne’s longtime friend, a buddy since kindergarten, known for — among other things — her mother’s cookie-painting parties at Christmas.
Suzanne is being remembered, and being reminded of fun times, at a busy season when her friend is visiting town for only a short while. These are gifts that make people feel good.
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged charles howard, expectations, gift, michigan, midland, monica davey, recession, santa, santa claus, santa school on November 29, 2011 |
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A story in today’s NY Times has some delightful pictures of Santas attending a premier Santa school. This year there is increased concern that kids’ expectations may be too high for straightened pocketbooks, and Santas need to know how to handle that.
Monica Davey writes, “Santas — including the 115 of them in this year’s graduating class of the Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School — must learn to swiftly size up families’ financial circumstances, gently scale back children’s Christmas gift requests and even how to answer the wish some say they have been hearing with more frequency — ‘Can you bring my parent a job?’ …
The Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School in Midland, Michigan, is considered the Harvard of Santa schools. And it takes a holistic approach not only to what a Santa needs to do for children but what he needs to do for himself. “Along with training in how to store your wig, how best to answer the questions of kindergartners and how to perform on your local cable access television station, a financial planner advised the Santas … to open pension funds and contribute as much as possible to 401(k) retirement accounts. …
“Even with the economic downturn, not all the Christmas lists have grown shorter. Some children show up with elaborate printouts, cross-referenced spread sheets and clippings from catalogs. ‘I try to guide the children into not so unrealistic things, and I do tell them that Santa’s been cutting back too,’ said Tom Ruperd, of Caro, Mich.”
It’s at times like these that homemade gifts, family activities, and donations to worthy causes start to look like more reliable ways to have a good time.
Read more here.
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