A Drift of Quills for December 2019

December has arrived and as usual, I am scurrying about with visions of sugarplums dancing in my head—which is to say that I am trying to work out what to get for whom, and from where, and at what cost, and so forth … One thing is for certain: when it comes to the simple gifts one may purchase, the age of technology has made life so much easier. For another year now, I will do most if not all, of my holiday shopping online. I love clicking the BUY button and then waiting for things to arrive on my doorstep.

But our subject this month has put me in a more introspective mood about gifting …

​We Quills have decided to comment briefly on a gift we received at some time that made a lasting memory, and on something we gave that made a lasting impression.


Robin Lythgoe is the author of As the Crow Flies. Robin’s stories, perfect for ages 12-85, come packed with adventure and humor. Perhaps you know just the right person to receive a copy of one of her works for Christmas … (?)

Robin -  What do you have for us today?


It was 1999, and my father was dying. The cancer was fairly aggressive. Shocking, when he’d been so healthy all his life. He’d left the family years before to follow a drummer only he heard. We didn’t see much of him, but still—it was Dad. Time was short. So was money ...


Thank you for sharing, Robin, and a Merry Christmas to you and yours!


Moving on ...


P.S. Broaddus offers delightful tales for middle school readersand I know how difficult those are to find. So, if you've got a young one on your gift-giving list (and who of us doesn't?), you'll find out more about his work on his sight. In the meantime, let's see what he has to say about gift-giving ...



When I think about giving, and gifts, a story from when I was close to nine or ten comes to mind.

My younger brother and I were given a few dollars by our folks and encouraged to find something for each other for Christmas. Being a kid, I did some quick math, figured I could snatch a passable something and still have monies left over.


Thank you so much, Parker!


Finally, here are my thoughts.



Gift giving is an art—a fine art. Gift giving is the fine art of selecting just the right thing for someone—and it is one that I work at. At times I’ve hit the sweet spot so perfectly, that it left even me surprised. But before I get to that, let me comment on a gift I received that made a lasting memory.

Some years ago ...


So, what are the greatest gifts you ever gave? Ever received? We'd love to hear about them!