My favorite gifts: A Christmas story part two

Column by Michael Alcorn
Posted 12/11/18

Part two... “But how am I to create all of this? How will I know what to make or what will help?” “Because, my child,” the Being said with a loving smile. “I am going to give you the gift …

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My favorite gifts: A Christmas story part two


Editor's Note:This is part two of columnist Michael Alcorn's Christmas story. Click here to read parts one and three.

“But how am I to create all of this? How will I know what to make or what will help?”

“Because, my child,” the Being said with a loving smile. “I am going to give you the gift of Imagination. But I must warn you: with this gift you will have that power to create unspeakable beauty; you will also have the power to do unthinkable evil.”

“That sounds like too great a responsibility. How will I know which is the right thing to do?”

The Being paused, then knelt in front of the child. “It is a grave responsibility. You must choose, every time, whether to walk the path of beauty or the path of destruction. The choice will be yours.”

And the child looked at the Being, suddenly feeling very foolish and unworthy of these gifts.

“But, don’t be afraid. Among the books will be many with ideas on how to distinguish good or bad. Perhaps even some that are inspired by me.”

“And what shall I do if I choose wrong? If I make a mistake?”

“For that, I will give you the gift of Memory, so that you remember your mistakes, and do not repeat them; also, so that you remember your successes, and take comfort in them. It will be how you learn and grow. But be careful: your memory will never be perfect. Over time, you will alter and edit your memories to make them fit what you need. That might be a great use for books, then — to record your life.”

And the Being stood up, and began walking again, but this time slower, lingering a bit, looking all around.

“I don’t know, sir,” the child said quietly. “Those sound like lonely gifts.”

“They are, or, they can be,” he said without stopping. “But, for that, I will give you companionship, a fellow to walk beside you who will be excited to see you, who will love you even after you make mistakes, and who will never abandon or judge you. My next gift is Dogs.”

And that certainly seemed good.

“But, because it is not good to always be told you are good, I will also send you companions who will look down on you and keep you humble: I will give you Cats — at least until I can find you a wife.” (that’s a joke, people — lighten up!) He said that last part under his breath.

That did not sound like such a great bargain. “Sir, I wonder that the cat is, perhaps, maybe, if you will … well, not such a gift as I would ask for.”

The Being laughed quietly. “Oh, it’s not a gift. More like my little joke.”

They walked on for a time, slower with every step, sometimes barely shuffling along at all, before the child thought to ask another question. “Sir, I feel like there will be times that I will need a way to speak to you, but I won’t have the language and it won’t be in the books and the dogs won’t understand it.”

The Being puzzled on this for a moment. “How do you mean?”

“Well, what if I feel great joy and just can’t say it, or if my dog dies and I am so sad that there is no word for it?”

And the Being stopped to think about this. “I believe I see your point. You must have a tool that expresses the unexpressible, that speaks to your soul, not your mind, that allows your intellect and your imagination to work together.”

Then, the being sat down on a bench that was nearby, put his hands to his chin, and thought very deep thoughts. Presently, he sat up, a light in his eye and a smile on his face. “Music! I will give you the gift of music, which will become a great Art and a magic beyond all we do here!”

And that was good. Even the child, who started to hum a happy tune, though it did not know how, could see that Music was a great gift.

To be continued...

Michael Alcorn is a teacher and writer who lives in Arvada with his wife and three children. His new novel, “Charon’s Blade,” is available now at, on Kindle, or through” His opinions are not necessarily those of Colorado Community Media.


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