It’s the time of year when everyone wants to borrow your punch bowl – heck, everyone wants to borrow my punch bowl, too, so I completely get where you’re coming from when you don’t want to let said punch bowl out of your sight. But, it’s also the season when we think most kindly, perhaps, of our friends and family. And those are the exact groups that want to borrow punch bowls! So, you probably have to lend it out. I’ll understand if you can’t exactly smile with the lending. But, I do have two ideas to help alleviate the potential pain. First, read the classic Oliver Wendell Holmes poem, “On Lending a Punch Bowl,” so you can know that others through history have gone the same route. Second, pick up the tipsy poetry collection In Their Cups, which features this very poem (and many other great ones). Actually, pick up two, and give one out when you loan the punch bowl. It seems the borrower should be reading it as well.
This ancient silver bowl of mine, it tells of good old times
Of joyous days, and jolly nights, and merry Christmas chimes
They were a free and jovial race, but honest, brave, and true
That dipped their ladle in the punch when this old bowl was new.
– Oliver Wendell Holmes, On Lending a Punch-Bowl