I admit, I’m tired of the commercials where someone gives a family member a new Lexus, and the clattering group that remarks “He got it at Jxxxx.”
We need a bit of a pick-me-up and we’re counting on you. Tell us your Christmas story. Make it good. Heck, make it up if you want.
I’ll start. It was the winter of 1980. I was living in a basement apartment in the Berkshires of Massachusetts, my first Christmas alone (my wife had run off with the town insurance agent, but that’s another story for another day). We were in the grip of a typical western Massachusetts cold snap. The morning air temperature that Christmas morning was -23. I didn’t have a garage.
A car in a garage has a chance of starting at -23; a car high on a hill, exposed to the wind rolling in from New York when it’s -23 has no chance. I was to travel back to the family estate for Christmas.
Click. Click. Click. You know the sound. And Christmas was over. I went back inside to spend the day with the cat, and call the family to tell them I couldn’t make it.
A few hours later, I looked out the window to see the news director at the radio station I worked at (who, as I recall, also volunteered to take my shift that day so I could go back home) — and his father — unraveling some jumper cables. A few minutes later, the car was running, and I was on my way.
Update Here’s another one that just came my way from back East. On my personal blog, I wrote a story about my Springsteenian home town last spring. Specifically, I wrote that my mother mentioned to a “checkout lady” at a grocery store (whom she did not know) that she was in need of someone to mow her lawn. Later that day, the phone rang. It was the “checkout lady” with a list of recommendations. Cool enough. This morning, my mother sent me an e-mail. There was a knock at the door yesterday. It was the “checkout lady” with “a beautiful basket filled with candy, coffee and cookies.”
When it comes right down to it, you don’t need diamonds and fancy cars to make a Christmas memory.