Sunday, December 23, 2007

O. Henry's Christmas Gift

It was only recently that I re-discovered O. Henry's moving short story, "Gifts of the Magi." For those who might not be familiar with it, it can be sumarized as follows: A young married couple, very much in love but penniless, seek to give a meaningful gift to each with their limited resources. Della who has beautiful hair, sells it for $20 to buy her husband, Jim, a chain on which to hang his prized pocket watch. Jim however, has sold his watch to buy Della a set of jeweled combs so she could brush her golden hair. On Christmas Day, when they exchange the gifts, they experience the true meaning of Christmas...selfless, sacrificial love.

O. Henry helps us put even more clarity into the Christmas story. We have become so familiar with the Incarnation, God becoming Man, that it almost seems trivial. Yet what sacrificial love the Father demonstrated. God so loved us that He gave us Himself. Really, how important are the gifts that we exchange with each other? Perhaps not too much thought was given to their purchase. It was so easy to put it on Visa. Compare our giving habits with those of Jim and Della. They gave all that they held precious. Like the story of the widow's "mite" in the Gospel.

As a Christmas mediation after you have received the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist, place yourself in the stable at Bethlehem on that first Christmas night, and bring Jesus the three gifts that will validate the reason He came. Not gold, frankincense nor myrrh but the three gifts of your body, mind and spirit. The totality of your very self... a sacrificial gift that is a great token of your love for Him. And then proclaim to all you know that God is with us...for a babe has been born in Bethelehem.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Dozier Family Christmas Letter-2007

The Dozier Christmas Letter
December 2007

Laura Ingraham, my favorite talk show host, recently gave a long diatribe on the narcissistic nature of annual Christmas letters. “It’s all about ourselves and not about the One for whom the season really exists.” If you agree with her, then you need to go no farther. Here is the Readers Digest version:
Dyda is doing well. Eva is working. I am kinda working. Three kids at home, soon to be one. The other 5 are doing well, though we all have challenges. The End.

Now for those of you who might still want a few more details:
Dyda- (Gordon Sr.)- He turns 93 in March. Due to diabetes and poor circulation, he had his left leg amputated. But the man is undaunted. He handles this challenge with such grace. No bitterness. No complaining. His greatest pleasure is being around his great-grandchildren.

Gordon Jr- I work part time as bookkeeper in our parish, where I also lector, cantor and sing in the choir. Sang with the Moore County Chorus for Christmas concert. As I age, I find that I can reach base notes completely unknown when I was a “yute.” Also took up blogging. You can read some of them at

St. Eva the Good- Is the Infection Control Practitioner at Scotland Memorial Hospital in Laurinburg. Has a 30 mile drive each way.(Bummer.) She plans to retire at age 65. (Is it Chapter 9 or 11 that we’ll be filing?). She has a job…I cook and clean. It works out well.

Gordo III- Currently lives in Manchester, Conn. He is a perpetual student. Has completed one Master’s degree and working on one more in theology. Just published his first book: The 12 Great Feasts of the Messiah and the Mother of God. ( ) Writing another: Holy is His Name: Meditations on the Mysteries of the Rosary through Eastern Icons ( I told Gordo to work on shorter titles next time.) Is an International Training Consultant for The Hartford and travels frequently to Japan, England and Ireland. Has chance of moving to Charlotte, NC. This would put all our kids but one in the same state …not confusion but North Carolina. (Wife: Karen- Kids: Daniel, Alex and Katie)

Kristi- (Binkster)- Lives in Dallas. Works for a newspaper, North Texas Kids. She writes a great deal and in the style of Erma Bombeck. Check out her delightful family observations at her blog at She told me that after Jack’s recent visit with Santa Claus, he ran back to the jolly old gentleman and said, “Hey Santa, do you want to join us for dinner at the Pub?” What a guy! (Husband: Jonathan- Kids: Jack and Eva Jane)

Jonathan-(JJ)- Completing his Master’s degree in Management in May. Currently working as a Manager and Marketing Director for the Chik-fil-A in Southern Pines. He hopes to get his own store within a few years. Jay’s main hobby is fitness. He spends untold hours at Gold’s Gym and the First Health facility keeping those muscles finely tuned. (Kids: Jonathan Jr and Jacob, living in Atlanta with mother, Susan.)

Angel- Works part-time with the family business: Gulley’s Garden Center and Gulley Storage in Southern Pines. Seems like she is perpetually running a car pool to some kid event. Has her hands full maintaining her 4000 sq. ft. palace in CCNC (Country Club of North Carolina.) (Husband: Graham-Kids: Hannah, Claire, Davis) Recent theological observation from Claire: As Angel was pulling into her driveway, Claire opined, “Mommy, owah house is bwessed.” From the mouths of babes…

Benjamin- Now lives with us, occupying a portion of our finished basement. He shares it with John-Paul. We call it, The Man Pit. (Pit being the operative word.) He is working as a waiter with Chili’s Restaurant and will be attending Sandhills Community College in the Nursing program. Movies and video games are his hobbies. Despite a few set-backs in his life, he continues to be gentle in spirit. (Separated from wife Rebecca. Daughter Loralei.)

Nathaniel (Nipster)- Recently moved from living with his brother JJ in Aberdeen to Greensboro, NC. He is working full-time at The Doubletree Hotel. Will enroll at UNC-G next fall. He is engaged to a great girl, Vanessa Lopez and they plan to be married next year. Nippy is an avid gamer. He was president of the Sandhills Community College Gamers Club and is proficient in Dragon*Con. (You, of course, realize I have not one earthly clue what that is.) He attends an annual convention in Atlanta where people who are into this thing…congregate.

John-Paul (JP)- Lives in the aforementioned “Man Pit. He just received his Associates Degree from Sandhills Community College and hopes to go to UNC-Asheville in January. (Could it be his college choice was influenced by the fact that his girl friend, Rebecca, attends Mars Hill College just a few miles away?) He wants to be a Math teacher. (Let’s see: a Dozier and the word “Math” in the same sentence. How oxymoronic.) He has been working part-time at Chik-fil-A and the Sandhills Sports Center, a mega indoor sports facility. He also enjoys culinary arts, and on our phone during this last semester, he would periodically send us photos of his multi-tiered cakes and other creations.

Mary Bernadette (MB)- Just completed her last semester at Sandhills Community College and will be transferring to UNC-Greensboro in January. Her major is Hospitality Management. MB just returned from a trip to Germany and The Czech Republic. Mary has the combined organizational skills of Angel, coupled with the zest for life and the penchant for world travel of Binkster. When she leaves home, we may only see her semi-annually between trips.

May the peace of the Holy Family be yours this Christmas and throughout the year.


The Doziers