The 14th Gift of Christmas in Virginia, c.2000

41nFjdCDnbL._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_“One Christmas morning, after all the gifts had been opened my husband announced that there was one more present in the garage, one that wouldn’t fit under the tree. When it comes to gifts, my husband is both creative and generous, so I don’t even try to guess anymore. I never would have guessed what this present was: a wheelbarrow.

It was perfect.

What I loved so much about the wheelbarrow (besides its sheer utility) is that it required a certain amount of knowing me, knowing my daily life and needs, knowing the pleasure I take in caring for the horses and chickens each day, in order to see its fittingness. Having already had a perfectly usable, if far inferior, wheelbarrow, I certainly didn’t need a new one. And it would have been easier, in both conception and execution, to buy me a necklace or jacket or such. The wheelbarrow was a gift chosen because it was perfect for me.” ~Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me by Karen Swallow Prior.

Today’s Gifts from Semicolon:
A song: Jubilation by Andrew York, guitar by Christopher Parkening.

A birthday: Shirley Jackson, b.1916.
Rosemary Sutcliff, b.1920
Christopher Parkening, b.1947

A verse: Our Brother Is Born by Harry and Eleanor Farjeon

Now every Child that dwells on earth,
Stand up, stand up and sing:
The passing night has given birth
Unto the Children’s King.
Sing sweet as the flute,
Sing clear as the horn,
Sing joy of the Children,
Come Christmas the morn:
Little Christ Jesus
Our brother is born.

Read the rest of the poem, Little Christ Jesus Our Brother Is Born.

The 8th Gift of Christmas on Prince Edward Island, c.1877

Christmas morning broke on a beautiful white world. It had been a very mild December and people had looked forward to a green Christmas; but just enough snow fell softly in the night to transfigure Avonlea. Anne peeped out from her frosted gable window with delighted eyes. The firs in the Haunted Wood were all feathery and wonderful; the birches and wild cherry trees were outlined in pearl; the plowed fields were stretches of snowy dimples; and there was a crisp tang in the air that was glorious. Anne ran downstairs singing until her voice reechoed through Green Gables.
“Merry Christmas, Marilla! Merry Christmas, Matthew! Isn’t it a lovely Christmas? I’m so glad it’s white. Any other kind of Christmas doesn’t seem real, does it? I don’t like green Christmases. They’re not green– they’re just nasty faded browns and grays. What makes people call them green? Why–why–Matthew, is that for me? Oh, Matthew!”
Matthew had sheepishly unfolded the dress from its paper swathings and held it out with a deprecatory glance at Marilla, who feigned to be contemptuously filling the teapot, but nevertheless watched the scene out of the corner of her eye with a rather interested air.
Anne took the dress and looked at it in reverent silence. Oh, how pretty it was–a lovely soft brown gloria with all the gloss of silk; a skirt with dainty frills and shirrings; a waist elaborately pintucked in the most fashionable way, with a little ruffle of filmy lace at the neck. But the sleeves–they were the crowning glory! Long elbow cuffs, and above them two beautiful puffs divided by rows of shirring and bows of brown-silk ribbon.
“That’s a Christmas present for you, Anne,” said Matthew shyly. “Why–why–Anne, don’t you like it? Well now–well now.”
For Anne’s eyes had suddenly filled with tears.
~Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

Today’s Gifts from Semicolon:
A song: Be Still My Soul, music by Jean Sibelius.

A booklist: Feels Like Home: 101 Chapter Books to Read Before You Grow Up.

A birthday: Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, b.1865.

A poem: Jest ‘Fore Christmas by Eugene Field.