‘Tis the Season.

Santa Pinata

‘Tis the Season. If you are last minute gift gathering, re-gifting, writing out cards to the people you forgot the first-time-around, mulling cider, inviting people to drop by, and—oh yes—still managing to show up for work Monday (if you have a job) and being someone’s secret Santa, then it has dawned on you that it is indeed Christmukwanzaa. (the season of Christmas and Chanukah and Kwanzaa) How did this happen? It seems as if only a few weeks ago I was in a sunny warm Midwest, now a freezing, sloshy, slippery winter wonderland. Here, in Southern California I have run into more than one disappointed tourist surprised at how chilly it can get here at night. It is windy as I write, on this perfect 70 degree afternoon. Yes, I have a tree—a noble fir, this year, all gussied up with sea ornaments and pearl lights, and brown paper packages tied up with blue string. Years ago, a local sea shell shop sale selling shells (I dare you to say that fast 10 times) was going out of business. I hot glue-gunned clam shells together into a long strand of clipper lights, and tied thread on sea stars and little sea horses to hang on the tree. I do not always have a sea-shell tree, but this year the box marked Sea X-Mas, beckoned to me from a high shelf. We had intended to haul up the fake tree from the garage, when the smell of fresh cut pine wafted to the office from the local hardware parking lot. No contest. I was just saying to a friend that I wish there was “Leap Christmas”—that is, I wish this holiday season came every four years, and perhaps I would be better prepared. I have talked about growing up in a large family, and how that influenced the Jakry Kids.
One year, back in high school my mother realized she was Santa-short. That is, there were still gifts that needed to be bought for my younger siblings, and she sent me out on the hunt for Christmas Eve bargains. I was in a Montgomery Wards, the sales people were eager to go home, the store was a few minutes from closing. I picked up a very substantial bag of marbles. Cruel prank, or odd fate, I shall never know. There was a hole in the bag and cat’s eyes and peeries, and colorful clay commies, went shooting in all directions—I dare say, bouncing, rolling, pinging, flying down store aisles. I momentarily froze like a deer in the headlights, when a tall handsome man—a total stranger– came to my assistance. No, this isn’t one of those stories where girl meets boy in some odd fashion, they part, and later she meets him on the Empire State Building and marries him. This particular picking-up-of-marbles incident was a kind gesture that lead to french fries at McDonald’s, and a much needed hot chocolate. When I see a harried person scrambling for a parking space, or last item gift I try to pay-it-forward with some small act of kindness.
A couple of days ago, one of our own Wocto staff had his car window smashed, and a prized bass guitar stolen, among other things. I ask myself, “Who does this kind of thing with such callous disregard?” We consoled him with a piece of tamarindo candy from a Santa Pinata. I think of that lovely stranger who helped me pick up the marbles, one-by-one, and I know that the spirit of the season will prevail if we enable it. Times are a little harder this year for so many people. Be nice to one another. Happy Holidays!

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One Response to ‘Tis the Season.

  1. Glad to visit this blog, keep it going.

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