Christmas is overwhelming for me. I experience so much pressure to buy or give, and yet it can feel pretty forced. So the spirit of giving happens spontaneously, it means more to me. So here is my experience of the magic of Christmas.
Last Sunday, it was about -4 degrees in the city. We had been in the house all day. So my wife and oldest son decided to go for a short walk around the block, while I stayed and played with my younger son. Shortly after leaving the house, the door bell rang. It was my wife and son. “We need some muscle to move a car,” she said.
A twenty something year old boy living at a place called, “Artist in Residence” was trying to get his car out of a snow packed parking spot. So we rocked his car, told him not to burn so much rubber, and eventually got him back on the road. It felt like the right thing to do. And I liked that our son experienced the moment.
On Monday, my wife called me at work. “You remember the artist with the skull & crossbones on his car-the one we pushed out of the snow? He left us a box of choclates with a note to the family that went out of its way to help me out.”
It was a complete surprise. To me, it combines the message of Christmas. You give to others with the nothing more than the best of intentions and then you move on. And sometimes, when you least expect it, something good comes back your way.
My four year old has started in a beginning soccer class at the Y. They teach them basic skills for thirty minutes and then play a game for thirty. They play three on three. It is like watching an episode of three stooges. If you are lucky, they score a goal……..in the wrong net!
They tend to mentally move in and out of the game. Its not unusual to see a kid stop by a parent and get a hug. J likes to wave at us as the ball rolls by him. If one child falls, the other “stooges” do the same to act silly. The game moves at a slow pace because the ball is constantly out of bounds and/or the ref is blowing his whistle to stop the game.
At times the kids remind me of Ferdinand, the bull who was more interested in smelling flowers than being a mean bull. And then its as if a light bulb goes off for just a minute or two and someone realizes they can score a goal. And when someone scores, all the other kids come out of their trance because they hear all the families cheer.
And of course, once the game is over-its time to get ready for to go to my older sons game.
My sons are part of the CD baby generation. We’ve been making CD’s for them since they were infants. Once however, they learned how to use the boombox, our CD’s have been fast forwarded, flipped out of the box, stepped on, and tossed around. It reminds me of the old Samsonite luggage commercial where the suitcases have been placed in a cage with gorillas. Unfortunately, unlike Samsonite or Timex, our CD’s take a licking and don’t keep on ticking. And like the sound of nails on a chalkboard, I hate the experience of songs skipping or jumping around mid verse.
So I called my resident music expert. You know the guy who knows everything about all types of music. The guy who actually owned a record store for many years-the guru of music. “What do I do about the scratchy CD’s-oh wise one?” He paused, closed his eyes, took a deep breath and said, “Windex.” “Did I hear you right-Windex?” He simply shook his head in that all knowing way.
From then on, we have saved or at least been able to extend the life of our CD’s with Windex. Simply spray it on and then re-play the CD. It was as remarkable as learning the magic of DW-40 and crayon marks. Unfamiliar with that parental tip, read earlier blogs.