by Robert Roman
When I heard that I got the day of Christmas for the 30 Days of Decadence blog, I knew I had to do something special. I mean, for a lot of people it's the climax of the season. It's the big kahuna, the center ring, the headline act. Whatever I put up here has got to be something amazing, right?
Yeah. I froze.
Worse, after I froze, I wrote, and discarded, and wrote, and discarded, and wrote, and... I think you get the picture. Our Valerie certainly does; I think she's about to send tracking dogs to find me and drag my frozen, lifeless body back to her so she can hit it with a stick for making her wait so long. Seriously, though, Val, shoot me an address and I'll send you a bag of pfefferneuse. Because everyone likes cookies, right?
Okay, after going completely bonkers for nearly two months, I took a deep breath and really thought about this. First, Christmas isn't the 'main holiday' for everyone. There's Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Festivus, Winter Solstice, and others that I can't remember right now. So for some folks this won't be the uber-post. Also, for those folks for whom Christmas is the big holiday, sitting in front of the computer reading blog posts isn't going to be high on their list. So... No pressure.
Okay, there are some folks who don't have anyone to spend Christmas with, or who can't spend it with loved ones. Those folks need a little lift. I'm a storyteller. So, for you guys and everyone else who is reading, I'm going to share my favorite Christmas story. Warning: it does have a moral attached. Don't worry, I'll tell you before I get to it.
There once was a man who known throughout his community for his love and kindness. Every day, as he went about his day with a smile on his face, he made sure to spread joy and heal sorrow in every way he could. He visited those who were alone. He helped those in need. He tended to those who were hurt. He had a kind word for everyone he met, a pat on the head for every dog he passed, and even helped the little ducks out of the water when they were tired.
Every day but one.
One day a year, the man was the meanest man anyone had ever met. He would tromp around sullenly, almost as if he were seeking out ways to be unkind. He said mean things to people. He cut in lines and took the last piece of food at community dinners, then didn't even eat it. He kicked the dogs and even pushed the little baby ducks into the water.
(A side note: as my teacher made clear, he didn't push little chickens in the water; that would just be wrong.)
That one day, every year, was December 25th.
Now, if you're one of those folks who skips the last five minutes of any cartoon from the eighties and nineties, because you're congenitally allergic to morals, go ahead and skip down to the end of the post for a chance at cookies. Not that I think it matters. As morals go, this one is pretty anvilicious. In the end, Christmas is only one day; even if we're angelic that day, the other three hundred and sixty four don't really balance that kind of bad karma. When you go out tomorrow, instead of grouching about the return crowds, try to keep a little of the Christmas Spirit with you. Try to keep it all through the year.
And yeah, I know it's tough sometimes.
But what makes us the best we can be is when we help others, whether by action or inspiration.
**Okay, story time (and moralizing sermon time) over. Something everyone likes at Christmas, along with Stories, is cookies. So! In the comments, to give those folks looking for a way to help others out, tell me the nicest thing someone, especially a stranger, has done for you, whether it was at Christmas or not. I'll pick one person (using my patented 'put your names in a hat and have my kids draw one) to win a bag of this years homemade pfefferneuse AND a copy of Volume One of Yule be Mine!**
And this year, when someone is rude, or mean, or just plain annoying, remember the Zen of Twi: