Wednesday, December 24, 2008

“God Bless Us, Everyone”

Photo courtesy of Clip Art

One of my favorite Christmastime treats is the music. Year after year, I listen to the same delightful songs and passionate melodies and never tire of them. Each one is like a single holiday cookie set on a plate filled with cookies, inviting you to indulge in yet another magical piece of the season. I play a little piano, but only a very little. I often think how wondrous it must be to just sit down and create beautiful music off the top of your head, especially for others to hear, and especially at this time of year.

My most favorite Christmastime treat is what the season does to us.

Among my family’s social circle during my high school years was a man who could be truly obnoxious, even in the eyes of a teenager. He was frequently loud and crass, and I remember the looks on the other grown-ups’ faces as they tried not to let his behavior annoy or offend them. He once sang an impromptu song at a party that shocked us. Nearly three decades later, the memory still makes me cringe.

But then one Christmastime, my dad told us that this man had nowhere to go for the big day. Somehow, even with a girlfriend, three children and plenty of social contacts, he was going to be all alone for Christmas. So my dad, who years later still referred to the man as a barbarian, announced, “I’ve invited him for Christmas, and he’s coming.” I’m happy to report that at that moment, the spirit of the season arose in me. I was horrified at the man’s predicament, and adamant that he should absolutely join with us, come what may . . .

All of Christmas day, my thoughts bounced between certainty that we’d done the right thing, and concern about how many ways he might do the wrong thing. When he arrived, he was all smiles and graciousness, as he could always be. Throughout the afternoon, he was jovial and witty, and appropriate. Then the end of the evening drew near, and he shocked us again.

He sat down at our piano and began to play.
Beautiful, lyrical music.
Christmas music.
Off the top of his head.

It is indeed more blessed to give than to receive. But perhaps that’s because in giving our best to others, they give and we receive their best in return. And in that moment, Tiny Tim’s prayer is answered, because God truly blesses us, everyone.

May you and yours be filled to overflowing with all the wonders and joys of the season.

1 comment:

  1. Well I must say ... I am sorry I missed this post... I couldnt agree more.... it is a standard tradtion in our house that should anyone ever be alone on ANY Holiday they can always come see us...

    I can never feel right about anyone being without ..... what a gift you received... by reaching out to this man he surprised you with something more magical than anything in the whole world... Piano .... it is my favorite music ever....

    I will never forget ... my father before he passed ... had borrowed a piano so he could take lessons... my youngest daughter ... around 5 years old at the time... sat down and just started playing ... we were stunned as you can imagine... never knew she had an ear for music... a gift... well my father was so happy that he paid for lessons for my daughter... the teacher was so amazed that even though we had no piano for her to practice on unless we went to my dads which was impossible every night gave her something special to learn for the recital... alas my dad passed before that day... however her teacher got up in front of the crowd and told the story of a little girl who was given the hardest song ever to learn even though she couldnt practice every night ... she spoke of how this little girl with that handicap of being unable to practice managed to learn it anyway ....needless to say there was not a dry eye in the house.... my daughter made my father and me quite proud that day (though he wasnt there physically I knew he was smiling down at her) ... I bought the piano in honor of my father... today it sits in my daughters dining room as a testament to love....

    Thank you for such a beautiful story .... your dad sounds like a peach of a man




Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them. Thank you!