The Gift

A wishlist for Christmas …


For those who face Christmas alone, I would give the gift of a forgotten memory. The rush of a memory so fresh and new, it makes folds in a stretch of time and builds an easy footpath back to a long-ago Christmas of belonging.

For those who travel each day pressed into strangers on a crowded train, who feel the lives of others leak into their own, I would give the dawn of a December morning and a silent, crimson sky. I would send the flush of hidden pheasants in a winter mist and frosted breath which tumbles across a soundless horizon.

For those who plug themselves into a counterfeit world, I would steal their iPods and their mobile telephones and their earphones and replace them with the blackbird who sits by my window each day and sings with a heart which is filled with joy at just being alive.

For the field, I would give the gift of being a meadow once more. It would no longer be sliced by wire and fence, and machinery would cease to cut into its flesh. The value of the meadow would not be measured in the weight of its crops, but in the whisper of a breeze through its grass and the dance of squirrels across unmeasured branches.

For the pheasants and the lambs and the calves, I would give a life without fear of bullets and slaughter. For those who hunt and kill, I would give the gift of understanding that a life which feeds on control and greed is truly a life less lived.

For those who watch clocks from a marked life, who are fixed to their seats by invisible chains, I would give you the gift of an oak tree. You will sit at its feet and whisper into its bark and you will find the seat so comfortable, you may wonder if it was made just for you all along.

For those who want without need and count without value, for any who take from those with nothing to give and beat people in our society who are already beaten, I would give you eyes to see, a voice to speak out and ears which will listen to your conscience.

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read and comment on my ramblings this year and may your best December gift be the one you least expect.

Merry Christmas



  1. December 18, 2011 / 6:07 pm

    I wish you a Merry Christmas, a great new year, and I also wish… A wish that you never stop writing such beautiful, meaningful words 🙂

  2. Claire McComisky
    December 18, 2011 / 6:09 pm

    A beautiful, moving, thought provoking piece of writing, Jo. Congratulations and thank you for giving us all so many things to think about this year.

    Merry Christmas x

  3. Mandy
    December 18, 2011 / 6:17 pm

    Heart stoppingly beautiful. Thanks, Jo, for so many things xx

  4. December 18, 2011 / 6:22 pm

    So beautiful, Jo! You have a gift for sure! 🙂

  5. December 18, 2011 / 6:26 pm

    And in return I give you the gift of friendship: an ear ever ready to listen, a head always there to understand and a heart always there to love you.
    Have a happy Christmas.

  6. Deerbaby
    December 18, 2011 / 6:32 pm

    Absolutely beautiful.

    Merry Christmas to you.

  7. December 18, 2011 / 6:33 pm

    As ever, dear Joanna, you have a great power with words and a great warmth as a human being. I wish you a very good Christmas too.
    Rhian x

  8. December 18, 2011 / 6:37 pm

    Beautiful and thought provoking, as always. I wish you all the best for Christmas – and may all your wishes come true in 2012.
    PS If your squirrel is called Gilbert, please can you tell him to come home, I miss him!

  9. Sheila
    December 18, 2011 / 6:40 pm

    Lovely post, insightful and inspiring x

  10. Mardi (Tillywinny)
    December 18, 2011 / 6:54 pm

    This is just wonderful. I hope one of these gifts will be yours this Christmas.

  11. December 18, 2011 / 6:59 pm

    If I get another year of friendship Jo, I’ll be very happy! Thank you for everything xx

  12. December 18, 2011 / 7:02 pm

    Wonderful! I hope you have a wonderful Christmas. xx

  13. December 18, 2011 / 7:08 pm

    What an amazing post. I love every gift that you’ve listed out above, I love the way you’ve used the words to paint a picture. I called by after seeing Alison Wells’ twitter comment. I’ll be back again soon. 🙂

  14. December 18, 2011 / 7:14 pm

    What a thoughtful and beautiful post! I feel as though I have received your wonderful gifts – thank you!

  15. Fionasrotties
    December 18, 2011 / 7:42 pm

    As always, wonderfully written & thought provoking. Thanks for your sweet, kind & masterful words. You’re a gift to us all! X

  16. December 18, 2011 / 7:43 pm

    May the beauty of nature offer you comfort, joy and peace throughout the coming year.
    Warm regards. Catherine

  17. December 18, 2011 / 9:02 pm

    Thankyou for allowing me to prowl silently by your side on those morning walks, for sharing your oak tree with me. I hope the gift you least expect will be a purr-fect one!

  18. December 18, 2011 / 9:51 pm

    Beautiful sentiment and use of language again – almost poetry in places!

  19. December 18, 2011 / 9:59 pm

    What a beautiful piece of writing and sentiment. Have a lovely Christmas, you and your robin :).

  20. December 18, 2011 / 10:41 pm

    This is such an incredible piece, Jo. Thank you so much for sharing it.

    My wish for you that you have more time to watch robins, more time to tramp through the fields with Seth, and more time to write wonderful stuff like this. xx

  21. December 18, 2011 / 10:59 pm

    Love reading your words…one of my favourite times each day is wandering out with my dog, love the crunch of frost beneath our feet and your post is gorgeous for this time of year. Merry Christmas to you. x

  22. December 18, 2011 / 11:04 pm

    Thanks Jo. What you have given me is a pause, a moment to reflect on what I have instead of fussing about what I want.

  23. December 19, 2011 / 4:11 pm

    Painting with words is how I’d describe your writing here. Very thought provoking, thank you.
    Best wishes for Christmas x

  24. December 19, 2011 / 4:15 pm

    Lovely sentiments and beautifully put. Maybe you have the gifts of grace and joy through all your days.

  25. Jo McIntosh (@has2bpurple)
    December 19, 2011 / 5:35 pm

    This is lovely. You write with such compassion and I love reading your posts. thank you so much for sharing.
    Hope you have a lovely Christmas! Say hi to your Robin for me and a tickle for Seth 🙂 x

  26. December 19, 2011 / 7:54 pm

    Kind sentiments like these must come from a pure heart!

    Christmas blessings from a doddering Dick!

  27. December 21, 2011 / 1:50 am

    And to you I would give the gifts of Smiles when you aren’t expecting them.. and Hugs when you need them.. Merry Christmas to You, Seth and a very cool Robin :o) Xx

Leave a Reply