Christmas passed by without me putting up this post. Couldn't bear it? Maybe. More likely I didn't want to spoil your day. Even more likely I didn't have the time. So here we go: the lost, last Christmas blog post—

Ah, at last! Christmas morning—the turn of the year—the start of a new life—the opening of the heart time—the time of giving and getting presents. With a wide smile and a few refreshing deep breaths I arose in the hesitant dawn, stumbled, tottered toward a recliner and, in my daze, as I was slipping on my boxers my eyes fell upon my first gift on this blessed Christmas morn. Suspecting what it was but wanting to be sure I leaned towards it. I peered at it. Yes, yes, yes. Yes, indeedy. There it was, an undeniable little pile one of my wife's dear little dogs left for me. Quite an unexpected present, Watson. Quite, Holmes. Yet in that split second I realized I had the opportunity of getting an even better gift. Gifts lead to gifts, you know. 

I say I realized it, but in fact it just came to me. Like a gift out of the blue: I could blow up and start yelling all over the morning and make this wondrous morn just another day in the halls of Hades or I could do something different. But what? What?? All I had to do was contain myself, and the rest would follow. And the rest came some two hours later after my wife and I had kissed and had coffee and opened the presents piled under the tree. I turned to her and remarked, rather casually, "Oh, honey, by the way, one of the doggies left me a dump. I put a tissue over it to mark the spot."  She smiled and as she left the room she giggled, "A white flag, huh?"

So there it was: another gift: to be able to save myself the necessity of an outburst that would have consumed a whole stockpile of my good emotional energy, and by that little bit of different doing I spared my wife a sizeable load of aggravation, too. We had a good day all the way.

To know that I didn't have to fly into a rage and that I could choose another response, that was the real gift this Christmas past. 

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