Christmas Illustrated

As a general rule, it's the thought that counts. There are limits to this.
Share |

My family's epic and enviable thoughtfulness at Christmas—one part woodworking, one part album-making, one part Red Sox tickets, one part sentimentality—puts me in a perennial funk on December 23rds. It's too late by now to match them, to patch together an iMovie chronicling my father's early life, or quilt my mom a steering wheel cover using cloth from my old baby blanket, or secure for my older brother Stephen that walk-on part on Game of Thrones he really wants.

That anxiety began in earnest when I was 15 and attempted my first late-in-the-season thoughtful gift in hopes of, somehow, reaching their level of generosity. Not an ornament or a terrible mystery novel, this time. This thoughtful gift was going to be a life-changing, rim-rattling slam-dunk, even though it sprang from the foggy-headed desperation of a late-night December 23rd. I wouldn’t even have to buy anything.

Stephen loves sports, I figured, especially the Red Sox. So, hoping to produce a meaningful, personal, conveniently interest-based, hug-inducing, memory-clinching, kudos-generating, doorknob-punch-preventing, Christ-delighting whopper of a gift, I took out the Scotch tape and got going. I would make him a poster of nostalgia.

I gathered up all the pertinent Sports Illustrateds—Stephen kept them in a dusty basement closet, in order. Larry Bird, Mo Vaughn. Inexplicably, there was no cover featuring Irving Fryar, but I figured I’d make do. There were a half-dozen Roger Clemens’s and, brilliantly, a new Pedro Martinez cover. Three versions of Kathy Ireland also made their residence in that closet, but I was on a mission, and kept my eyes on the task at hand.

Pedro had recently been traded from the Expos and his picture, with the word "Amazing" emblazoned in white, seemed a gift-wrapped theme in itself. It would surely make an AMAZING gift when taped to other images.

As I constructed, I got a little pastiche-happy. Instead of taping entire covers together, I started scissoring-in curves to make an athletic mosaic out of our shared heroes. Then I'd emphasize certain words from the covers. "Memories” was one. Using ransom note-style cut-outs to spell out "BeSt GiFt EVer" or “SpOrTs HaS CEmenTed OuR FRaterNal bOnd” might have been more subtle.

When I was finished, I had a 24X36 masterpiece of frankly horrifying crap—ugly tape overlaps, ripped edges, sticky address labels still adorning Oil Can Boyd’s face. It was something a television cop might find on the wall of a serial killer’s hovel, provided that serial killer listened to a lot of WEEI. And, in creating this deeply felt monstrosity, I'd tarnished the jewels of my brother's allowance-sapping sports memorabilia collection, leaving coverless magazines naked in my wake. I was pleased with myself at the time. I allowed myself a quick glance of Ms. Ireland circa 1994 as a reward and went off to watch the second half of The Motor City Bowl.

I didn't realize that night that the present would come up short in the end—just like those New England teams it depicted: the ’88 and ’90 and ’95 Red Sox; the ’91 Celtics; Billy Curley’s Tarheel-stomping Boston College basketball team. I knew, Christmas morning, that my ragged poster hadn't thrilled my brother as much as I'd hoped, but that was a customary Christmas let-down for me, even by that point. Because he was kind (or because my parents were), we hung it on our basement wall anyway.

My mistake, my regret, grew in scope for about five years, and each time I'd come home from college, clamber down the basement stairs and see the poster’s Frankenstein leer on the wall, I’d feel more and more how boneheaded a present it had been. An anti-present really: I took things he liked and alchemized them into something he probably didn't. Clemens had actually given him the same feeling when he signed with the Blue Jays the year before I made the Roger-collage.

I'm making up for all of that this year. Stephen's getting something really good. It's going to be—I mean, it's going to cause great surprise and wonder, be startlingly impressive; astonishing, astounding, stunning, staggering. AMAZING, even. As soon as I think of it.

Maybe I’ll give him a framed Luis Rivera Topps Gold card. You know Luis Rivera. Light-hitting Sox shortstop of the early 1990s, currently the Blue Jays third-base coach? Stephen and I used to tease him and root for him to clear .250. This will be perfect. Luis Rivera was pretty much my favorite player growing up.

Share |


I appreciate everything you have added to my knowledge base.Admiring the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed information you offer.Thanks.imp source

Thankyou for this wondrous post. I am glad I observed this website on yahoo.
köpek diş bakımı nasıl yapılır

It is really good to read such a nice writing. I have searched couple of days and found some interesting writing on it. But it is the best of all. Thanks for writing this. I really appreciate your writing.Instasquare

Much appreciated such a great amount for sharing this amazing data! I am anticipating see more postsby you! Flipagram Download

Working on the given topic is really a difficult task but your this tutorial made it easy for me to handle it without any problem.Descargar Cymera

I needed to thank you for this excellent information!! I have bookmarked your blog to check out the new stuff you post.BBM Online

The post contains really beneficial information. I am extremely impressed together with your writing abilities as well as with the format for your weblog.B612 Indir

Guys you did great work. I’m very pleased to say that these are wonderful articles and blogs. Thanks for this.
Chris Walker - best SEO Denver

Im no expert, but I believe you just made an excellent point. You certainly fully understand what youre speaking about, and I can truly get behind that. Drohne versichern

Awesome work! That is quite appreciated. I hope you’ll get more success.
essay writing service

Cool blog site friend I'm about to suggest this to all my listing contacts.

canada merchant account

These are actually wonderful some ideas in the blog. You have touched good quality points here. In whatever way continue writing.
best online essay writing services

Hi! Thanks for the great information you havr provided! You have touched on crucuial points!

I was told that you gain weight just before you start your period ,then you still have that weight with you ,and you gain more pounds and you dont loose the weight off is this true help !! thankyou Bluetooth Earbuds 2017

I had been trying to get something special like that at length but now I have finally got it.
do my essay

I want more and more articles and blogs please post soon such informative information.

canada merchant services

You guys abolish it real straightforward for all the oldsters out there.
Affordable Care Act plan quotes 2017

Great Article it its really informative and innovative keep us posted with new updates. its was really valuable. thanks a lot.reverb effect pedal

Thanks for the post and great tips..even I also think that hard work is the most important aspect of getting success.guitar delay effect

I came across this data useful in addition to helpful. Get some good useful. Musical Study

Great write-up, I am a big believer in commenting on blogs to inform the blog writers know that they’ve added something worthwhile to the world wide web!..

Great article with excellent idea!Thank you for such a valuable article. I really appreciate for this great information. Instasquare Lite

A debt of gratitude is in order for the post and awesome tips..even I additionally imagine that diligent work is the most imperative part of getting achievement. Instamag Photo editor

Keep it up on nice working, and I hope soon you will place some more information here, I’ll wait for that.
Chris Walker - SEO Denver

You have a good point here!I totally agree with what you have said!!Thanks for sharing your views...hope more people will read this article! Youcam Perfect Download

I felt exceptionally cheerful while perusing this site. This was truly extremely instructive site for me. I truly enjoyed it. This was truly a sincere post. Much obliged!. pesto pasta

I needed to thank you for this incredible read!! I unquestionably adored each and every piece of it. I have you bookmarked your site to look at the new stuff you post. Snapseed Online

This is really the sort of data I have been attempting to discover. Much obliged to you for composing this data.Fotorus Photo

Very good additionally desirable article. Excellent difficulties you can have frequently guided to many of us. Alliance. Just carry on supplying a very write-up. Buy Novelty Documents

Incredible Article it its truly instructive and inventive update us as often as possible with new upgrades. its was truly important.Picsart Photo Editor

Such a cooling post that is admittedly alright written. will be referring lots of friends regarding this.pop over here

seo I really loved reading your blog. It was very well authored and easy to understand. Unlike other blogs I have read which are really not that good. visit this site hurry up waiting your order low obl unique domain Thanks alot! dofollow blog comments

There were a half-dozen Roger Clemens’s and, brilliantly, a new Pedro Martinez cover. Three versions of Kathy Ireland also made their residence in that closet, but I was on a mission, and kept my eyes on the task at hand.minecraft offline download |
psn card codes free

Greetings, I find perusing this article a delight. It is to a great degree supportive and fascinating and all that much anticipating perusing a greater amount of your work..article

Cool website buddy I am gona suggest this to all my list of contacts.check the site to get pokemon rich

I just read through the entire article of yours and it was quite good. Health Care is very necessary for the everyone whether they are common person or the employee in the organization.voyance en ligne

I am happy to find this post Very useful for me, as it contains lot of information. I Always prefer to read The Quality and glad I found this thing in you post. Thanks
The EZ Battery Reconditioning

I continuously continue coming to your website once more simply in case you have posted new contents.
Jimmy Kim

I don't think numerous websites offer these posts of collection.
money hacks

You have done a great job on this article. It’s very readable and highly intelligent. You have even managed to make it understandable and easy to read. You have some real writing talent. Thank you.
Piano For All Download

I love seeing blog that understand the value of providing a quality resource for car cover

You have done in fact wonderful work by make such a great blog keep up the good work.

Info is implausible, I would want to see more and more from your writers.

Whether somebody pursuit of his vital thing, hence he or she desires to be accessible that at length, hence that thing is maintained over here.
payday loan lenders online

Great details here, better yet to discover out your blog which is fantastic. Nicely done!!!
Mark Curry

You know your projects stand out of the herd. There is something special about them. It seems to me all of them are really brilliant!
Obsession Phrases Review

Your articles don’t beat about the bushes these are actually exact t to the purpose.
easy paypay loans

This post is really valuable that designed for the new visitors. Pleasing work, keep on writing.

Thanks a lot for publishing the new good stuff for us. I’ll really get the great advantage from your good stuff.
florida vs south carolina auto prices

I Never ever found such edifying blogs.

10 year fixed rate term insurance