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Archive for the ‘A Christmas Carol’ Category

Amid the millions of twinkling lights decorating our Christmas trees and homes, only one light matters: the bright, clear light of the Star of Bethlehem.

Among the colorfully and carefully wrapped boxes and bags, only one gift matters: the gift of love embodied in the tiny baby born that holy night in Bethlehem.

When we give gifts to our family and friends, in some small way we duplicate the same love God gave us through the gift of his son.

But in these tough economic times, we can’t always buy the gifts we want to give. That’s okay. The gift of time, talent and our selves often mean a great deal more to others than a wrapped gift.

So join me on an imaginary journey to the world of Christmas movies where we can help some of our film friends. (How many films do you recognize? The answers are at the end).

(1) The first place I need to go is the post office to help Joe and the guys. Every year they get bags and bags of letters addressed to Santa Claus. Usually they just wait a couple of months and then burn them, but this year Joe got a call from his brother the lawyer. He wants all the letters delivered to General Sessions Court this afternoon.

(2) I also need to deliver dinner to our next-door neighbors. They really are a nice family, though when the old man is down in the basement cussing at the furnace, we can hear him in our living room. His wife is sweet and does a great job raising her two boys, even if she goes a little overboard with their winter clothes. Anyway, since our darling hounds got loose on Christmas morning, found their way into their kitchen and demolished their turkey, the least we can do is take them a meatloaf and a cherry pie.

(3) We should take some cookies down to George at the Savings & Loan. Earlier this year when my restaurant and bar wasn’t doing too good, he let me just pay the interest on my loan. We had worked so hard to move out of that old rental and into our own home, we were afraid George would foreclose. But he understood and saw us through the tough times until business picked back up. That’s certainly worth a plate of Momma’s best biscottis.

(4) I also need to talk to my business partner about how we treat our employees. When it was just the two of us, working long hours and scrimping on operating expenses (utilities, office supplies, etc.) made a lot of sense. But ever since we hired Bob, I’m reconsidering our “profits at all costs” business practices. As partners, we have more than enough money and a responsibility to help the less fortunate. We should give Bob a raise so he can buy a nice Christmas goose for his family. I will talk to Ebby this afternoon, after I see the doctor about this pain in my jaw.

(5) Despite the inconvenience of travelling on Christmas Eve, I think we need to drive up to Vermont for the reunion. Bob can be very persuasive when he puts his mind to it; I guess that’s what made him a good captain. I hear the roads should be clear since there’s not much snow. It will be great to see everyone from the battalion, especially the Old Man. Looks like we’re still following him, wherever he wants to go.

(6) As for our other neighbors, there are lots of things I can do: Luther needs help putting Frosty on his roof, even though it’s almost Christmas. (7) Clark needs help trimming that huge tree he cut down in the forest yesterday. I hope he checks it for squirrels. (8) I’m sure Buddy needs to borrow a couple of long extension cords so he can plug in all those lights. Does he really think his house will be seen from space?

(9) I wonder how my friend Walter is doing these days. Ever since he became the general manager of that publishing company, I haven’t seen him around the neighborhood much. I know his son Michael would like to spend more time with his dad. Perhaps I could edit that new children’s book so he can get home earlier and eat dinner with his family. Spending time with children, especially during Christmas, keeps you young. It puts back some of the Christmas joy you felt when you were a kid. More grown-ups should really enjoy the holidays – like that happy fellow downtown in the green jacket and yellow tights waving at everyone.

So as we continue to celebrate the Octave of Christmas, let’s keep the spirit of Christmas alive in all we do for our family, friends and those less fortunate.

Merry Christmas everyone!

CF
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First published in the December 25, 2009 issue of The Tennessee Register.
© 2009 Christopher Fenoglio

Christopher Fenoglio writes and dreams of a white Christmas from his home in beautiful Bellevue, TN

ANSWERS
(1) Miracle on 34th Street (2) A Christmas Story (3) It’s a Wonderful Life (4) A Christmas Carol (5) White Christmas (6) Christmas with the Kranks (7) National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (8) Deck the Halls (9) Elf

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