The kids and all the grands came over for our annual Christmas breakfast together, and we had ourselves a time. I have to say that the sheer volume of gifts was significant. There are sixteen stockings to be stuffed, and then the regular presents for the grands, and then the adults give one another presents. As I looked out over the pandemonium, I thought of the annual clucking of tongues over consumerism and so forth, wherein we are all exhorted — for the betterment of our souls — to limit ourselves to one or two gifts, max, and preferably they will be kind of gifts that did not attract the attention of too much mammon, the kind you can get at the dollar store. In short, the exhortation — for the betterment of our souls — exhorts us to be as unlike God as we can be. God is lavish, and He did not try to teach us selflessness by undergiving. Throughout my entire life, not to mention all the ages before I was born, God has always way overdone it. And the imitation of Christ means, among other things, imitating that.
Speaking of overdoing it, our kids conspired together this year to give each set of grandkids a puppy — all German shorthair pointers — and if you are tracking with me, this means three puppies. Nancy and I had the privilege of delivering the puppies to their new homes this morning. The thought among our kids was that the only thing that would be able to drive the kids into a higher state of whipped-up-ness than a puppy would be the general discovery, when they arrived at our house for breakfast, that the two other cousin families had each gotten a puppy too. The same kind of puppy. And so they did, and the event came off with a satisfactory amount of squealing and yelling. The puppies are named, if you are interested, Dixie Mist, Dottie, and Derby. Going into 2014, life at our house just moved into 3-D.