With Christmas morning and the opening of gifts behind us, six of my seven grandchildren now have hoverboards. For the uninitiated, a hoverboard is like a segue without the top part—simply a connected pair of footpads on wheels, with a battery-powered motor or something that makes it go. Speed and direction are determined by the person on the hoverboard which is a scary thought. I will have nightmares of blue lights coming at me for days. I’m not convinced of the safety of these contraptions but efforts to enforce a helmets-only rule have been pretty much futile. We’ve had some crashes, even some tears—they seem to land on their elbows. But the kids have all mastered the balance and control required, and I am impressed. They do present a traffic hazard, whizzing around the house, and one grandson has a tendency to speed. But they’re delighted with themselves and their new acquisitions (two granddaughters had hoverboards before and most of the kids tried them a few months ago).
For me, it was a peacock Christmas, in tribute to my latest book, Murder at Peacock Mansion. Colin and Lisa, who have fostered my liking for colorful outdoor metal sculpture, brought me a peacock to go outside the cottage door when I get moved in. It stands maybe two feet high—when it was lying down by the stockings in the morning I didn’t recognize it. Besides, next to it, was a wicked-looking piece of metal—three prongs with another sticking straight up in the air. It looked like a weapon—turned out one of my peacock’s feet had come off and needs to be welded.
Jordan found a magnificent pair of peacock pants—black with peacock pattern at the bottom of the wide legs. I will look elegant and now need a special place to wear them.
Christmas isn’t about the gifts—and shouldn’t be—but we had a bountiful supply of gifts under the tree, chosen with special care and thoughtfulness. That too is part of the celebration of the greatest gift of all—the hope that the story of the baby Jesus brings to the world for everyone. I hope you got a gift today that gladdened your heart and that you felt the hope and joy of the day.