A couple of facts up front:
1) I tend to deal with something akin to seasonal depression once Christmas is over, and I never know why or how to deal with it.
2) The older I get, the more I want to head it off when I see it coming.
3) Tonight, Saturday, December 15, 2018, at 6:32PM on my back deck, as I grill pork for lunches this week, I think I finally may have beaten this thing. At least for this year.
The above song, “Old City Bar” by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, always gets me thinking about how I spend Christmas. I once wrote a poem based entirely on the line “If you want to arrange it/this world you can change it…” because I really wanted to do Christmas right.
It’s a holiday about God keeping a promise to send us a Savior. And I think one reason I get gloomy after Christmas is maybe because I have made all kinds of promises to God to be a good Christian, only I don’t think I am. At the end of the day I don’t serve all that many people, or in a meaningful way that I can see.
Well, this year something great finally happened, and not to me–to my friend Lisa.
The short version is that she has had a crap year. Lost some extremely close family members, things like that. If you know her, you know the details, I won’t share them here.
Well, the cherry on top came when her car super-died last month, and a reliable replacement can break the 10k mark pretty fast.
Her brother Dennis came to the rescue and rallied the troops. Everyone who knows Lisa chipped in $10 here, $20 there, and she had the money she needed in an instant. Today she bought the new car and thanked everyone who helped. It felt really good to see my name on the list.
I’m not rich, but seldom do I struggle, and for as much as I consider the value of things I spend my money on, I’m glad I found myself in a position to help someone who needed it.
All those kiddie Christmas cartoons were right: there’s a true meaning of Christmas, and it isn’t about getting things. (Unless you’re Lisa this year, in which case it kinda is.) Maybe it is more about how you get them, and how you give them.
Maybe it is about how we keep our promises.
That’s all. Merry Christmas, you guys. I love you all. Go listen to the entire “Christmas and Other Stories” album by TSO. It’s beautiful.
See you out there. Now get back to work.