Becoming Uncle

In my youth, I had an uncle. He would visit once or twice a year, and every three years or so one of his visits would be at Christmas. He was an interesting and worldly person who was ever the font of fascinating information, experiences, and knowledge of the world beyond the confines of my neighborhood. He only had one habit that I found annoying.

He had invested well, had no immediate family, and was generous in many ways. Sometimes that generosity would show up in birthday gifts and Christmas presents. Best as I can remember, my Tonka pickup truck was a gift from him. It had a great load capacity—able to carry most of my World War II company of small plastic soldiers and a miniature Sherman tank.

We were very good about thank-you notes—Mom made sure of that. But with Christmas come and gone, thank-you notes written and mailed, right about the Ides of March (not that as a kid I had any clue about that date in history)—I would get a letter from uncle asking how I liked my Christmas present and did I find it useful. That was his one annoying habit.

I dreaded that letter because I knew mom would make me respond and what do you say when it is the year that the usually reliable uncle gifted you handkerchiefs for Christmas? I was in fifth grade. There was no way I was flashing a handkerchief on the school playground. “Hey, look what I got for Christmas.” That was a sure and certain path to ridicule, banishment from the ball field, and fates beyond imagining. And besides, what in the world do you write to Uncle?

I resolved never to ask about a Christmas present given and if the recipient liked it and found it useful. But not all resolutions are kept perfectly.

So…last Christmas the parish gifted you a subscription to How did you like it? Did you find it useful? Oh my gosh, I just became Uncle! But hopefully with a good purpose. is a revolutionary digital platform that offers a wealth of informative and entertaining Catholic audio talks, eBooks, feature films, documentaries, and video-based study programs from trusted Catholic providers. You can learn more about this at their website. And the great thing is that the parish has provided every parishioner with free access to this great wealth of Catholic materials. There is something for all ages: video, audio, study programs, movies, eBooks. They even have a monthly suggestion list. Go to and use our parish access code (don’t have the code? Call the parish office!). The content/episodes often are tailored for our busy lives. Maria Giral, one of our parish staff members, watches while she jogs on a treadmill in the morning. She is “jogging her way to holiness!”

So check it out! and Enjoy!

2 thoughts on “Becoming Uncle

  1. Uncle George, thank-you for the gift but in answer to your letter, I have yet to open it. I will however look it and add it to my library and resources. Wayne

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