What, you might ask, do these three have in common? Quite a bit it turns out. I began to notice similarities the first year we didn’t have any children coming home for Christmas. Since he knows my habit of starting Christmas decorations on the Saturday following Thanksgiving during the football games, Al noted as we finished up the turkey, “I guess there won’t be any need of putting up a Christmas tree since nobody will be here.”
I quickly corrected that impression, “I will be here!”
Though I once created a “Bah, Humbug!” logo on a sweatshirt for him, Al didn’t go as far as Scrooge who proclaimed to his nephew that “Every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips should be boiled in his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart.” Nor did he go as far as the Grinch with a heart two sizes too small who stole all the presents, the tree, and the food for the feast down in Whoville leaving not even a crumb big enough for a mouse.
Part of the wonder of Christmas is the ability of its presence to break through the resistance. Scrooge met his Christmas ghosts and became “as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man as the good old city knew” and ever after it was said that he knew how to keep Christmas well if any man alive possessed the knowledge. The Grinch not only returned all the gifts to the people of Whoville when his heart grew three sizes in one day, but stayed for Christmas dinner and carved the roast beast.
As for Al, he patched up some Christmas reindeer for a friend in his workshop and used them as a pattern for two to go on our front lawn. He got extra lights to string around the roof and began searching the recipe card file for traditional holiday snacks to make. He didn’t even gripe as he brought in the Christmas tree early the Saturday morning after Thanksgiving for me to enjoy reminiscing as I placed ornaments from the many phases of our life’s journey.
So with the wonder of Christmas upon us – from Scrooge, the Grinch, Al, and me – our best and heartfelt wish for you are in the words spoken by Tiny Tim, “God bless us every one.”