Except for liking colored lights, which I like 365 days a year, I don't get a lot in the way of holiday spirit. This year has been tougher than usual for a lot of us for all the reasons I won't beat to death.
So with my turn before me, I'm in a bit of a dither. You guys don't want to hear me whine about my less-than-enthusiastic relationship with the holidays. The theme of the month is gifts, giving and receiving, not, "The Holidays: Shut Up Already, Bill."
After going around in circles about what to write about, I had a brainwave (as they say in British dramas). 20 years ago I wrote an actual Christmas story which was published in a community newspaper in my then home of Portland, Oregon. In 2010, I resurrected it (I know, that's Easter, but stick with me here), and posted on my website. As it happens, it's all about gifts, giving and receiving, so I am going to reprint it again here.
It's an autobiographical story, but no need to get into the details of how much is memoir and how much is fiction. Suffice to say we really did have a grey Persian cat named Tanya, given to us by a fellow named Danny Coots. And, while I can't be 100% certain, I do think Tanya actually was hot.