Today I realized I’m really enjoying Christmas, and it happened quite by accident.

Something still wasn’t right with my car after I picked it up from Mike the Mechanic yesterday. A light was on related to the work done. I’d left the office early today, done my shopping and had the time, so I went back. Mike the Mechanic came out and quickly did an adjustment and the light blinked out.

“Sorry for that,” he said.

“It really was not a problem,” I responded. Because it wasn’t.

But then, out of the blue, I said, “Have a wonderful Christmas, Mike. See you next year.”

I don’t often say things like that. I’m not of the Hallmark sensibility. My French grandmother would frown at people who spoke words of sentiment out of rote, or because they were expected. “It is not felt, it is not of value,” she would say to me after someone mouthed a platitude while walking away.

Mike the Mechanic stopped mid-turn away from my car.

“Thank you,” he said. There was warmth mixed with surprise in his voice.

“I hope you have a nice Christmas, too.” I knew he meant it.

For years, while growing up and even during my marriage, certainly after my divorce, I felt separate at Christmas. Separate is a better word than alone, and lonely isn’t right, though all are a little mixed in. Unconnected fits even better, disconnected not at all.

Sorry for all this focus on the words, but the feeling itself was gauzelike and hard to pin down. It is most noticeable now by its absence. I don’t feel unconnected at all, and yet, the connections are not to particular people, but somehow, to all people.

I think of Scrooge, what he lost being who he was, and what he found in who he became. There are better ways to say that, I could rearrange and improve the words, but I’m not going to because you know what I mean.

There are many other reasons to feel Holiday cheer of course, and I’m indulging in a few of those as well. But that’s different, and this isn’t about having a good time.

It’s that the time I’m having is good, and it’s about finding the goodness in others, and it’s about spreading a bit of that around.

Merry Christmas.


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