How did you find out?

I'm not talking about the 'talk' about where babies come from.  I'm talking about the spoiling of the Santa myth.

1960.  My oldest of two younger brothers (at that time) and I were playing baseball with kids from the block.  We took over a vacant lot near our house in southern California.  Dusk was upon us.

Apparently the neighborhood bully had decided it was his personal mission in life to tell every kid that Santa didn't exist.  And he did.  I acted like, well, yeah, I know that.  But like, no, I was shocked.  Dismayed. Amazed.  And you mean our parents just lie to us about that?  What's next, the tooth ferry?  Hhmmm, that would be right. 

Reminded me of my '67 Balboa Blue bug - bought it at the local hardware store!

2010.  It's two days before Christmas.  At this stage in my life the commercial/hubbub of the holidays is not one 'of my favorite things'.  My solution is to escape from it all sometime between Thanksgiving and the week before Christmas.  

Additionally, I pledge to not enter into a big box store of any kind, anywhere, commencing with Thanksgiving and going through January 1st. However, the purity of my pledge is quashed once I get to Maui for my holiday avoidance performance. Costco is the must-stop place before hunkering down in ignorance-ville (I'd say Margarita-ville but I don't drink).  My excuse is I get food and maybe a beach chair.  I don't get gifts, decorations, trees, wreaths, or lights.  And then I get out.  My pledge then remains true for the duration.

Gratefully, our family has gone the no-gift route, as have my varied and often intersecting circles of friends.  I guess the exception is when there is a drawing for a name and we play Secret Santa.

That being said, I was getting a bit judgey today about the perversion of Christmas.  You know, what happened to the Christ in Christmas or the holy in holiday.  Then I went to the butcher store.

The store is a classic and folks have been customers probably since before the neighborhood bully destroyed my Santa Claus concept.  As I waited for my number to be called I talked with folks I hadn't seen in a very long time.  I talked with folks I'd never seen.  Without exception everybody was getting ready to prepare a lovely meal for family and friends.  Family and friends.  And that's it.  Who am I to say what Christmas is for anybody?  It's about whatever it has morphed into for each person.  Hopefully that includes smiles, hugs, warmth, commonality, grace, sharing and giving.

And that's how I found out about me and my relationship to Christmas this year.  Happy, happy Christmas, however and whatever it is for you.

Live richly,



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