My wife I are really doing it this year. We're chopping the Christmas budget to unprecidented lows. We've already achieved somewhat of a Scrooge status by bowing out of the annual family gift grab. I mean, really, what's the point in buying gifts for my cousin's kids? I don't need to launch into the ridiculous height of "stuffness" that Christmas has become, we're all fully aware I'm sure. As I near my 39th birthday (Dec. 30th), I find that there's nothing left that I want anyone to buy me, other than books, because you just can't have enough books. But things like power tools, computer toys, etc., I can buy whenever I need it. And I don't really need it anymore. When I look at a new toy, I see something else that will take up my time, not to mention my money.
What I find, at Christmas, is wishing I had enough money to give to everyone who needs it. I'd love to pay off my church's debt for the steeple we built several years ago. I'd love to buy Robin a laptop so she can bug me even more. I think Dineen and Ronie are set. Okay, laptops for everyone! Randy I. recommends the i-book. Color preferences? Gina, you get black. Wouldn't do for a spooky writer to have a pink i-book. Robin, red of course. Ronie gets yellow because she's from Texas, and Dineen gets, umm, do they make a clear one? Then you can see what your toes are doing while you write.
As long as we're in Ron's fantasy Christmas land, what else can I buy? There's about fifty ministries I'd like to support. I'll fund a thousand missionairies...and send them i-books. Some good friends or ours live three miles away. Too far. They get the house that's for sale across the street. I'll even pay their taxes. Some other good friends, who do live in our neighborhood, have four kids and need new cars. A minivan and an Avalanche so they tow the trailer I'll buy them so they can go camping with us (it's not really camping, it's a portable hotel room).
What else shall I do with my newfound fortune? A writer's retreat you say? Okay! Northern Michigan on the Manistee River. We can fly-fish between lectures. We'll have a Starbuck's on site (free, of course) and Coldstone Creamery will provide desserts (if you haven't, you must!) We'll have cabins with Wi-fi. Each guest will get an i-book.
Naturally, all AFCW members are free to use the property for their own retreats. Feel free to fly your group in (on my private jet) so you can brainstorm. Make sure you're wearing orange during deer season. I'll have a buck pole put up for any of you who wish to indulge in Michigan's favorite pasttime.
Now, if I can't have all that, I'll settle for a book contract. Surely, that's not too much to ask for, is it?