I’ve never sent a Christmas card. Not a single one. They always seemed too superficial to me. My “inner Linus” always just said no. I could never send out something generic nor did I have the time to personalize a card to every person I cared about. I’ve tried a handful of times, but there was never time enough to express how I felt. About six years ago, I was living in a town I didn’t like and in a relationship that was disintegrating into dust. I was out of work and with little to no prospects of finding any. During this time, I wrote a Christmas card. It wasn’t Hallmark material but it expressed more emotion than I saw in a sentimental shoebox greeting. The following is the unedited contents of this piece. If you never get a Christmas card from me, this is the best I can do to suffice:
So it is Christmas – the birth of catharsis.
I have nothing in my house that reeks of holiday cheer
Except a Wal-Mart ad, the cold Minnesota air
And isolated Christmas cards scattered upon the living room floor.
Everything I see on TV tells me Christmas is here
Yet there’s so little cheer
For the hungry, homeless and lonely
The oppressed, suppressed and depressed.
Everybody needs more candy.
I still want a hula-hoop.
A million and a half people live on the streets in America.
I want to meet all of them.
Tell them “Happy Christmas”
Let them laugh and play
Use their imagination
Feel the sensation of a world filled with love.
God knows I want to be there.
To those who are sad,
I wish you laughter.
To those who are drunk
Raise a toast to the ones you cherish.
Or if you don’t have any, raise your glass with me
For I will drink with you.
Those whom I’ve had a mere acquaintance
A handshake or a passing, pleasant stare
Forgotten thoughts or letters
Friendships forsaken or a shattered romance
Know that my dreams are often filled with you.
To the leaders whose hands
Hold the weight of the world
Remember the children beneath the Christmas tree.
Hold your uneven hands from pressing the button
Embrace your enemy for they are your brother.
My hair grows gray – strays away
Floating into the haze of the past.
No-one was dead and I had yet to fall in love.
As a child – holiday’s baby
It is a special time.
Christmas is everything.
Grandpa sitting in his chair, smoking a pipe
Grandma in the kitchen, baking the turkey just right.
Dad’s dancing with history and Granddad’s theory.
Mom sits on the couch with a glowing smile and
Aspirations of basking beneath the light
Of a shiny Christmas star.
Santa came down the chimney
Fresh cookies lying on the dinner table
Presents surrounding the Christmas tree
Underneath an angel’s light.
Pea salad, oyster stew and green bean casserole
Clichés now but then it was new.
After you tuck your children in their beds
Before you step inside the sheets
Hang your stockings and your heads high.
Make your fireplaces shine bright
Be in love with life
For it’s Christmas time!