Today is your last chance to get it right for this year.
Today is your last chance to get it right for this year.
This is the time of year when we look back at the previous twelve months. Hopefully it is with pride and not with regret. What’s done is done and cannot be undone. But it can be edited!
The world has seen changes, some for the good, some not so much. We have survived. But not all of us. We have said goodbye to many we love and I am sure a few we hated. That is the cycle of life. There can be no existence without death. People have gotten really good at cheating on so many things, death isn’t one of them.
In the fullness of time I believe we will be judged. Hopefully it will be on the best of us and not the worst. As a whole we are good people. But do we deserve what’s coming? Because it is coming. The future is now.
We have seen the birth of many. Children were born as well as ideas. Both will help us move forward. Because that is the direction we are all headed: to tomorrow.
The world has been here for approximated 4 ½ billion years. Our ancestors can be traced back about 6 million years. Homo sapiens (the present us) about 200,000 years. Civilization as we know it is about 6,000 years old. Industrialization is only traced back to the 1800’s. Then came the first computer, the first electric shaver, the first microwave pizza . . .
Everyday something new is invented, composed or thought of. The next step is always the most important one.
As a species we are still young. We have a lot of growing up to do. We still squabble like siblings with a toy. Hopefully we will grow out of that stage. But not, I think, today.
I look back with fondness over the last year. I have great memories of friends and actions that I am proud of. There were tears and anger and moments I do hope to forget, but I lived. I was a part of my life and I enjoyed it!
Now I am looking to the next smile, the next chuckle and the next sunrise because I am positive it is coming . . . Join me?
Moderation in all things? I disagree. I want an excess of life, love and laughter! How can that be wrong?
The world would be a much better place if we didn’t have to share it with other people.
That lump of coal you got for Christmas really won’t become a diamond, well, ever.
You can relax now, Santa is taking a nap.
What will you find
Underneath your tree?
Will there be presents
For you and for me?
Will there be games
Or a train set for you?
Did you speak to Santa
So he knows what to do?
I wished and I prayed
That Joy would be there
The world would be fair.
The morning was bright
The tree stood up tall
And just below its branches
Was Peace for us all!
Jeremy was bereft. His feet were cold and he felt the sniffles coming on. And yet here he was on the evening of December 24 standing in a freezing parking lot looking at dying trees. Why? Because his family insisted. He desperately wanted to tell the world to piss off and just go and get drunk in some dive bar.
He hadn’t always been like this. He used to love Christmas. But 11 months and 13 days ago everything changed. The woman who completed him, who made him laugh and more importantly who laughed at his jokes, died. Mattie loved Christmas. She loved life. She loved him. Until some two bit gangsta’ wanna-be thought it would be fun to drag race on a snow-covered icy street. They said she died instantly. But he didn’t. Jeremy wanted to die or to kill, but instead he lived. He felt the tiny box in his pocket. He had planned to ask her that night. That’s why she was out. They were going to meet.
It had been a horrible few months but everyone seemed to have moved on. Except for Jeremy. Here he was standing in the cold with instructions to buy a lovely full tree for Christmas. He shook his head, was about to turn around and leave when he heard an odd sound.
He looked around the parking lot but he didn’t see anyone. The sound was low, almost frantic. It was a scratching noise with a hiccup and a sigh. It intrigued him. He wanted to know what was making that sound. Jeremy took a step forward and the sound changed. It was a whine now and a huffing noise. It didn’t sound human and yet it didn’t sound animal either.
A back-firing car startled him. He felt silly. It was probably just the wind stirring up some garbage. Jeremy shrugged his shoulders, he knew he needed to get on with his life. He could never forget her but maybe he should put her where she needed to be: deep in his heart where she could be protected, her memory safe. He would start by taking an active roll in this evening’s activities.
In that moment something else happened. Jeremy seemed to swim up from the abyss of grief he had been living in for almost a year. His eyes truly opened. He almost smiled. He was looking for a tree. Now there were tall ones and fat ones and ones that looked a little sad. But he couldn’t seem to find one that he thought needed a home with his family. And then something fell on his foot. It wasn’t very heavy, it was very small and it coughed.
Jeremy peered down at his feet trying to see what this thing was. There wasn’t a great deal of light but he was pretty sure that he saw it move. Without thinking he reached down and scooped up the small ball of something.
The next thing that happened was unexpected. But perhaps given the day, appropriate. With the small black bundle at eye level Jeremy poked it. It poked back! And then it opened its mouth and emitted a rather large meow. It was a kitten. It was a small, black, cold, abandoned kitten. It curled itself into a ball and started to purr. Jeremy smiled for the first time in forever. He tucked the sleeping bundle into his pocket and bought the tree it had been hiding under.
He got his tree. He didn’t haggle the price, he just paid it and chuckled. He was taking home more than a tree. He had found the Spirit of Christmas hiding in the small body of a kitten under a tree.
“Now you take care of your little brother and I’ll be right over there.”
Odelia was used to taking care of her brother for short periods. After all she was nine years old and quite mature for her age. Billy was only three and he needed a lot of taking care of. They were standing in line waiting for their turn. Actually Billy was strapped into a stroller and for the moment he was quite serene. However, Odelia knew it would probably be 15 or 20 minutes before it was their turn. A few moments later it began. Like most boys his age Billy didn’t like to wait so he started to squirm and then to whine.
“I don’t wanna wait!”
Odelia had been waiting for this moment and hoping it would take a little longer. She looked over at her mother but she was still deep in conversation with a sales clerk.
“Okay Billy, I’m going to tell you a secret.” That always got a child’s attention. “But you can’t tell anyone else, ever!”
As expected the young boy stopped squirming and looked at his sister with rapt anticipation.
“Okay.” He said quietly.
“This happened a very long time ago and nobody knows all the details but this much we know for sure.”
Odelia was a gifted storyteller and she knew her brother very well. His eyes were glued to her face and he hadn’t moved an inch. So she continued with her story. The tale she told was about an elf.
One of Santa’s elves was called Marvin. He was young and as it so often is with the young, he seemed forgetful. The other elves tried to instil in him the importance of what they were doing in Santa’s workshop but Marvin was too interested in playing with the reindeer and investigating how some of the toys worked. Unfortunately he also had a knack for breaking things. Soon the other elves pushed Marvin aside and tried to forget about him. When Santa heard about the troubles he spoke to Marvin but it didn’t seem to make any difference to the young elf. However, what we think isn’t always what is.
It seems that Marvin wasn’t trying to break things he was just trying to understand how they worked. He was only trying to help. When Santa heard this he decided to give Marvin another chance. He was told that if he broke one more toy he would be banned from the workshop.
Over the next few weeks everything went smoothly. The toys were being assembled and made ready to be shipped. Marvin did everything he was asked and nothing that he was not. Eventually everyone forgot about him. Now as it often happens, when you’re not watching, trouble will find you.
There was one particular toy that was new to the workshop. It had bells, and whistles and it had an engine. Usually that pretty much guaranteed that the children would fall in love with it. Unfortunately this toy kept breaking down. First the wheels were falling off when the Packers tried to wrap it up. Then the steering wheel wouldn’t work when it was tested prior to packaging. It even started falling apart on the line when nobody was looking. People started wondering if Marvin was the culprit but nobody could find him.
After a few days it was decided that the toy would be put aside until further investigation could be done. Obviously there was something wrong and there was no time to correct it. Everyone was working to a deadline that could not be shifted. And still no one could find Marvin.
The night before the deadline the last package was wrapped and put in place for shipment. Everyone congratulated themselves on the fine work they had done this year. There had only been one glitch and he seemed to have taken himself off the line. No one thought about him, no one worried about where he was or what he was doing. That was their mistake.
What the others did not understand was that Marvin was different. He wasn’t one to blindly follow the rules. He wanted to understand why the rules were in place. The only way something could be improved upon was to first know its nature. Marvin wasn’t trying to break things he was trying to understand how they worked. If you know how something works you can make sure it doesn’t break down.
When the others had taken the cars that kept breaking down and put them in another room Marvin had gone to see if he could fix them. In the days and weeks that no one missed him, Marvin had corrected every single issue in every single car. He had also wrapped them and prepared them for shipment. The others were very surprised when he presented them with what they thought were broken vehicles.
When Santa heard what Marvin had done he called him into his office and sat him down. What happened next is not known. But after a few minutes, Marvin exited with a smile on his face and a lift in his step. Obviously he had been vindicated. From that day forward Marvin had a new job. It was his responsibility to test each and every item that passed through the line to ensure that it was not easily broken. It was a task that Marvin took to easily. After all, if it could be broken he would find a way to break it.
“Are you next young fella?”
With everyone’s attention now on them Odelia quickly unstrapped her brother. An oversized man dressed as an elf lifted Billy on to the knee of Santa Claus and stepped back.
Billy looked into the face of the big fat man in the red suit and thought about what he had just learned.
“Ho ho ho! Little man what do you want for Christmas?”
Billy leaned close to Santa to whisper in his ear.
“You were naughty Santa. You should have been nicer to Marvin.”
With that Billy jumped off Santa’s knee and ran to his sister. He never looked back and he never forgot his lesson. Did you?
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