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… and thank you!

“All mine?” asks Ava.

Ava with tennis ball and squeaky ball gifts

“Nope,” sez I. A heaping plenty of it is mine. πŸ™‚

Christmas gifts from blog readers

The only problem with all these delights (and more to come, according to my Amazon wish list!) is that I’m not certain whom to thank, since several gifts came with no “from” at all.

So thank you MSJ, MJR, BL, ST, KK, A, and furrydoc. And you, too, mystery Santas. Care to come through in the comments and let me know who you are?

More thanks to the Duffys and the rest of the BHM crew and Rich Lucibella, Denny Hansen, and the friendly folks of S.W.A.T for not only putting up with me all year, but sending tasty encouragement at year’s end.

Dried and dehydrated food packages

An extra thank you to MSJ, who’s not only responsible for that Great Heap O’ Toys in front of Ava, but who restarted my longer-term food storage (which was left behind last year) with a dehydrated food sampler and enough dried fruits for both my bug-out-bag and … well, many breakfasts and snacks to come.

Oh. And there was one more deluxe and delicious package of California dried apricots from a mystery Santa. But they disappeared. I believe the evidence is clear: the dog ate them. πŸ™‚

Novelty dog dish with dried apricots in it

Your clicks on my Amazon links also brought much bounty. Purchases large and small added up to commissions of more than $200 in the weeks before Christmas. That’s amazing. Typical monthly commissions range from less than $10 to $50 or so in a really great month. So extra thanks to all who used those links!

People bought items many and varied — including some pretty cool stuff. But I have to say this was the most interesting. Seriously. Someone bought that.

I’d love to see the look on the recipient’s face when he or she opens what Santa left under the tree.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Blessed Slightly-Post-Solstice, and whatever the heck you wish at Kwanzaa to you all!


  1. Jim B.
    Jim B. December 24, 2011 4:03 am

    Hope you enjoy the Paracord package and the two candles packs. I tried to get you the liquid candle but when I clicked on it, apparently its not “legal” to ship it to your area. Just FYI, in case you’re wondering why you didn’t get that.

    I really wanted to get you that liquid candle with the 9 hour candle packs so I can say “May your days and nights be brighter with these.” : )

  2. Claire
    Claire December 24, 2011 8:48 am

    Jim B — Thank you for revealing your secret Santa-ness! Yes, I’m definitely going to like the paracord (much lighter and smaller in my bug-out bag than the rope I have now) and am glad to have a good stock of candles. You must have sent the flash card, too, since it came packed with the paracord. All very practical and very, very welcome gifts. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    LOL on the liquid candle. I had no idea it would be “contraband.” Guess I’d better take it off the wish list, lest someone be tempted to commit the terrible crime of sending it to me for Christmas!

  3. Ragnar
    Ragnar December 24, 2011 9:37 am

    I’m guilty of the Chia Obama… that’s for my one friend that I know of that voted for Obama… Obama didn’t win a single county here in Oklahoma so it’s not easy to find his voters.
    Just wait till NYE and all my guest come across the Obama toilet paper that I also bought… mwahhhaahhaa. >;-)>

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Years Claire!

  4. Claire
    Claire December 24, 2011 9:51 am

    Ragnar — I always figured you as having a pleasantly warped mind. Thanks for confirming it. Is your Obama-voting friend coming to your NYE party? I wonder (though at the same time, I really don’t want to know) what he might resort to if confronted with the need to use Obama TP!

  5. Ragnar
    Ragnar December 24, 2011 9:55 am

    LOL… he’ll be there for New Years… can’t wait. But as in any good democracy I will give the a choice in the restroom. And much like their choices in TP and politicians… in the end, either choice will provide the same basic result.

  6. Rich Lucibella
    Rich Lucibella December 24, 2011 9:56 am

    Merry Christmas from all of us at S.W.A.T. Magazine, Claire.

  7. Claire
    Claire December 24, 2011 10:03 am

    Well hello, Rich! I didn’t know you read the blog. Glad to have you here — and glad to know that S.W.A.T. is both thriving and going back to its roots (I plan a blog about that, now that Denny’s made the official announcement).

    Your Christmas gift is always one of the most delicious.

  8. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty December 26, 2011 9:19 am

    All I can send is my love, Claire. That’s what everyone else got too… only those who came to collect it got theirs wrapped with my arms in a hug. πŸ™‚

    A cyber hug… >>>>>!!<<<<< for you.

    But I can't get my arms into the little wires.

    Love your patient doggies. The photos are beautiful.

  9. Jim B.
    Jim B. December 26, 2011 2:45 pm

    Actually I really didn’t care about the legality sending you the liquid candle, I would have sent you one because you wanted/needed one. The only reason I didn’t because the site didn’t “allow” me to.

  10. Jim B.
    Jim B. December 26, 2011 2:46 pm

    And I didn’t have any other ways of sending you present/s.

  11. A.
    A. December 27, 2011 12:48 am

    Not sure if you will see this post, Rich. But here goes….

    First off, thank you for supporting Claire. Her voice is an important one, and valued by many.
    I bopped over to your website in the hopes of learning what changes you had in store for your magazine. While I couldn’t see anything mentioned on that subject, I did see that the current issue has a mission specific RD system on the cover.
    RD makes masterpieces, and I plan to have Jim work on several of my rifles very soon.
    More relevant than the hardware featured on this month’s cover, is the software and theory driving the concept. These were developed by America’s best during the Cold War, and were first made public in an essay written about twenty years ago. I have this, and other things that may be of interest to you. Probably not for publication, but rather for your own personal education and enlightenment.
    If you are intersested, shoot me an email via Claire.

  12. Rich Lucibella
    Rich Lucibella December 27, 2011 9:25 am

    I’d be pleased to see the essay you speak of. And I’m certain Denny would enjoy a letter to the editor that includes your own thoughts on the subject.

    Reach us as follows:
    pub at
    editor at


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