Sure, it's shallow. It's embarrassingly shallow to ask what other people got for Christmas. It's just the lamest. And of course it couldn't be further from the meaning and spirit of Christmas.

Of course, it is is true that Jesus received some excellent gifts on the occasion of his physically committing to going from being the supreme, all-powerful ruler of the universe to being someone in swaddling clothes who has to be burped. It's not like Myrrh grows on trees, you know.

Wait. Does it?

Be right back.

Okay, so myrrh does grow on trees. Sort of. It grows intrees. It's fragrant-smelling dried sap from a tree that ... that must make other trees feel like they smell like feet.

Myrrh used to be worth more than it's weight in gold.

Can you imagine, going into an international currency exchange place, and going, "Yes, I've four pounds of myrrh here I'd like to change for five pounds of gold? And can you hurry -- I've got a bus to catch."

Anyway, tell me what you got for Christmas! Unless you got nothing. And then, God bless you -- for real. For then you can be closer to the true spirit of Christmas than can anyone who can't help but equate the miracle of God's incarnation with the personal acquisition of material goods.

Wow. Now I don't want to tell you what I got for Christmas.

Well. I'm actually thrilled with what I got, so here it is: This year for Christmas my wife Cat got me a two-volume, 17-pound boxed set of Don Martin cartoons. (Don Martin used to be a cartoonist for Mad Magazine.) Here's a picture of the set, lifted from it's Amazon page:

don-martin.jpg

Can you believe it? Don Martin, being treated like Michaelangelo wishes.

Cat was moved to buy these books for me out of her conviction that humor is what saved me when I was a kid -- when, it's true, Don Martin meant so very, very much to me.

I used to study his stuff, and think, "Okay. So anything's possible."

Cat is a phenomenal giver of gifts. It really is a talent, of which she is an absolute master.

But enough about what I got. What did you get, friend? Do tell!

(And to my fellow believers: Can you believe the joy this time fills you with? God, born as man, come to show us how to live a life beyond this life! For free! We did nothing to deserve it! It's just ... all the love from God that we can possibly process! MERRY CHRISTMAS, INDEED!!)

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