As we near the Christmas holiday — filled with joyous anticipation, I recall Christmas when our son and daughter were young.

Most families have traditions and rituals that they observe each year.  One of our traditions when we trimmed our Christmas tree was to play a Mitch Miller sing along album of Christmas songs, singing along as we bent to the task.

Once finished, we sat by the light of the tree and I’d read my favorite anecdote from an old Readers’ Digest.

I could never get through the reading without breaking into gales of laughter as I read the last line so they could never hear the ending.  I love subtle humor.

It still cracks me up, even as I was typing it here. I hope you will find it as amusing as I still do after all these years.  Here it is.

The British ambassador was in Washington D.C. some years back. About a fortnight before Christmas, he was rung up by the local radio station.

“Ambassador,” said the caller, “What would you like for Christmas?”

“I shouldn’t dream of accepting anything.”

“Seriously, we would like to know and don’t be stuffy.  You have, after all, been very kind to us during the year.”

“Oh, well, if you absolutely insist,” he said and then told him what he would like.

He thought no more about it until Christmas Eve when he switched on the radio.

We have made a little Christmas survey all on our own,” said the announcer.  “We asked three visiting ambassadors what they would like for Christmas.”

The French ambassador said, “Peace on earth, a great interest in human literature and understanding, and an end to war and strife.”

Then we asked the German ambassador and he said, “A great upsurge in international trade, insuring growth and prosperity, particularly in the underdeveloped countries.  That is what I wish for Christmas.”

Then we asked the British ambassador and he said he would like a small box of crystallized fruit.”

I loved the subtle humor

As our son and daughter grew up, when there was a need for a stern lecture for misbehavior, they’d distract me by saying “crystallized fruit.”

It worked and I’d crack up again.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I still do.

Merry Christmas.