This list came pretty easily. At the end of such a bad year, I wanted to give gifts that have meaning, that symbolize something or simply bring a little     cheer. Not everything on the list is for others. I added some wishes for myself. And food! There are prayers, too. One thing for sure: Better days are just
around the corner.

  • Ashwagandha and valerian root. Vitamin Cottage. For me. For serenity. Sorely needed. 
  • Bird feed for the finches, the butter butt birds, the fire-displaced mountain chickadees. And Bed Bath & Beyond, the only place I see with satin-padded hangers, a little frill for the girls, to lift their spirits.
  • Colcannon’s recording, Mrs. Hooligan’s Christmas Cake, a special gift from Mick & Jean before their West Cork move. A copy to our friend so he can laugh again.
  • Doggie treats and chew toys for Fendi, whose companionship kept a granddaughter afloat. Thanksgiving for all pets everywhere.
  • Extra-exquisite Christmas greetings to a wise, beloved aunt, 104 years old, Cape Girardeau. Her phone calls make everything sparkly. 
  • Freshness. How to give such an abstraction? Perhaps for our daughter, the nurse, crisp new sheets in Mediterranean blue? Nurses are worn out.
  • Gloria in Excelsis Deo. A song of angels, gift of music for a special friend. Whose heart cannot use some of this? And ornaments of gingerbread men. Dig out the recipe. Bring the kids over, masked if need be. We will have a party.

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  • Happy Lucky’s: Can they re-create for me “The Lion and the Lamb?” Obsolete for years, but oh how I’ve longed for that oolong-y tea.
  • Ivy plant for a granddaughter. Illuminated. 2021 will be better, love.
  • Jamón for our son and daughter-in-law. Not just any ham, but jamón Ibérico from Barcelona. A delicacy, but so right this year. With love.
  • Kisses to their children, our grands. Virtually. And fingers crossed that our gifts will reach them, 5000 miles away.
  • Luminarias. Lights. And an expression of thanks to all who labor on ladders, put up the wreaths, inflate the inflatables. A generosity of spirit.  
  • Mary Oliver’s Devotions, for all my friends who love Creation and a beautiful poet. Bookmark page 125, “Six Recognitions of the Lord.” Stunning, all.
  • Note to myself: Respond to some of the family with extra tenderness, should they talk of politics. Our last Christmas before their move to Florida. Make it special. How we will miss them. 
  • Out-of-doors. Hey! Yes! Of course! Out-of-doors!! We’ve always had that. We can feast, together, spaced apart. Out-of-doors.
  • Prayers for a migrant friend on the COVID death of his father, the day before Thanksgiving. Prayers for strength to get through, he said. And maybe could you light a candle at the church for my father
  • Quiche. 
  • River rocks—gathered from the Poudre, for our comrade. To remember our lazy afternoons building cairns on that special bank way up the canyon. Keep one stone for myself, as we mourn the losses from the fire. 
  • Self-love. May I learn to swim in it. 
  • Truman Capote’s A Christmas Memory. The film version, the B&W with Geraldine Page, the one in which he narrates. A gentle gem. For our neighbor. 
  • Us—Another note to self: Try to remember it’s all of us. Not “us vs. them.” We’re all in this together. 
  • Vanilla bean ice cream. Goes with anything.
  • What It’s Like to Be a Bird, by David Allen Sibley. Just out. Order a copy for Jim and me. We won’t exactly fly, but maybe live vicariously. 
  • X-box for a grandson. How he loves to play the games with his father! And his father loves it, too. Perfect. Anything that binds a father and child.
  • Yea, though I walk through the valley of death, I shall fear no evil, for thou art with me. 
  • ZZZZ’s. Fervent prayers for the anxious, the lonely, the sick, the wounded. The cold, the hungry, the addicted, the war-torn, the poor in spirit. Those who have faced injustice, and those that mourn. And while I am at it, remember, always, this: gratitude.

Colleen Fullbright is a retired substitute teacher living in Fort Collins.